Modi takes Sadbhavna mission to Godhra

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 09:32 hrs

Godhra: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took his 'Sadbhavna' mission fast to Godhra, the epicenter of 2002 communal discord in the state, just a month before the 10th anniversary of the Sabarmati train carnage.

Incidentally, the turnout of people from minority community at Modi's fast venue at the SRP ground here was low, contrary to the estimation by local BJP leaders.

Even before the fast meant to promote peace, harmony and brotherhood could begin, social activist Shabnam Hashmi and five others of NGO Anhad were detained for organising a convention 'In search of Justice'.

Also, former BJP leader Nalin Bhatt was detained from his house in Vadodara early this morning, as he had planned to take out a rally in Godhra against Modi.

Few representatives of minority community were seen at the venue while couple of religious priests from Muslim communities like Gachis and Bohars were sitting on the stage besides Modi.

Panchmahal district BJP President Jayprakash Patel had estimated that there would be huge turnout from the minority community from Godhra but it turned out to be dismal.

Modi arrived at the fast venue here at 11 AM where he was greeted by his cabinet colleagues, local MPs and MLAs, besides BJP leaders and priests from various religions.

A huge crowd had gathered at the venue from all sections of society.

Godhra was transformed virtually into a police base camp ahead of the fast. Over 1,600 policemen have been deployed along with 50 specially trained Chetak commandos and other unarmed jawans across the town.

Police said six activists were detained as they wanted to hold a public function despite permission being denied to them.

The day-long 23rd Sadbhavna fast comes nearly a month before the tenth anniversary of Godhra carnage, in which 59 persons, mostly karsevaks, were killed when the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train was burnt near Godhra Railway station on February 27, 2002 triggering worst-ever riots in the state.

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