The Supreme Court’s verdict on Thursday brings to an end the 20-year-long quest for justice of the victims of the horrific 1993 serial blasts in Bombay (as the city was then called). The blasts killed 250 people and injured 700. Thursday’s verdict would have brought closure to families of the victims.
But one question not many are asking amid the outpouring of support for actor Sanjay Dutt (who has got a reduced sentence of five years in a case connected to the blasts) is this: what about justice for the victims of the 1992 riots?
The Mumbai blasts are largely seen as a reaction to the December 1992 and January 1993 communal riots in Mumbai that followed the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6. At least 900 people died, with most victims from the minority community. The inquiry commission led by Justice Srikrishna indicted some policemen, politicians and political parties for their role in the riots, but no government since has shown the courage to act against the accused.
If Mumbai and India want to put the past behind, it is imperative that justice is served to all. Those guilty of the 1992 riots must be punished. If the government can only pursue them as effectively as it pursued the perpetrators of the 1993 blasts and if the government acts on the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission, we might have justice.