With the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony officially marking the construction of much-awaited Ram Temple in Ayodhya, families who lost their kin in the Sabarmati Express incident Godhra in 2002 have welcomed the development, stating that their sacrifices have finally borne fruits.
About 59 people, mostly kar sevaks, were burnt alive in the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express on the fateful day of February 28, 2002 in Godhra in Gujarat, touching off a wave of violent riots that gripped the state in its wake.
It has been more than 18 years since the horrifying tragedy but the families of the Godhra train blaze victims and those who survived the onslaught still remain devastated. As the families continue to brood over their losses, the Bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram Temple has brought an occasion of celebration for them. Jayantibhai, one of the survivors of the Godhra blaze, who also lost his mother in the conflagration, says he is happy that their sacrifices have not gone in vain.
“Nobody reserves any hatred for what had transpired in Godhra. We believe it is balidan (sacrifice) for Lord Ram. I am very happy with the temple construction and that joy would have been doubled if this pandemic was not there,” Jayantibhai said.
One Navinchandra Brahmbhatt, 65, who hails from Vadnagar in Mehsana district, and who lost his wife Neeruben in the fire when they were returning from Ayodhya after a darshan was elated at the construction of Ram Temple and vowed that he would visit the temple town with his two sons once the coronavirus pandemic gets over.
Sardarji Vaghela, an octogenarian, who lost his son Rakesh in the Godhra train burning incident, says, “I will be praying when they carry out bhumi pujan tomorrow. All our sacrifices will finally bear fruit.”