2002 GUJARAT RIOTS CASE: HIGH COURT ACQUITS MAYA KODNANI IN NARODA PATIYA MASSACRE

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Maya Kodnani is also accused of murder in the riots that took place in Naroda Gram, where 11 Muslims were killed.

The Special Investigation Team probing Naroda Patiya had argued that a day after the riots, Maya Kodnani was seen inciting mobs at the spot by witnesses. The trial court held she organised the mass killings.

Caravan Daily

GANDHINAGAR — The Gujarat High Court on Friday acquitted former Bharatiya Janata Party Minister Maya Kodnani while upholding the conviction of Bajrangi Dal activist Babu Bajrangi in the Naroda Patiya massacre case of 2002.

Earlier, the trial court had held Kodnani the kingpin in the case and sentenced her to 28 years in jail. Bajrangi was given life imprisonment till death. A division bench of judges Harsha Devani and AS Supehiya found no criminal conspiracy in the riots and said that none of the witnesses were reliable.

In August 2012, a court had sentenced 32 people, including Maya Kodnani, to life imprisonment in Naroda Patiya case

While all the convicts appealed against their convictions, the SIT sought enhancing sentences of three convicts, including former Bajrang Dal leader Babubhai Patel.

The Special Investigation Team probing Naroda Patiya had argued that a day after the riots, Maya Kodnani was seen inciting mobs at the spot by witnesses. The trial court held she organised the mass killings.

At least 97 Muslims were killed in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya area on February 28, 2002, when a mob comprising thousands of people descended upon the locality, and murdered them. The incident was one of the worst cases of mob violence during the Gujarat riots.

Kodnani is also accused of murder in the riots that took place on the same day, February 28, 2002, next door in Naroda Gram, where 11 Muslims were killed.

Mr Amit Shah, BJP President, appeared in court in defence of Kodnani and testified in September that when the riots took place, 10 km from Ahmedabad, he had seen her first at the Gujarat assembly and then at a government-run hospital where she was consoling families of the Godhra victims.

In 2002, when the riots took place, Kodnani was a BJP leader. She was made a Cabinet minister by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2007. She held the portfolio of Minister for Women and Child Development till 2009 when she was arrested. She got bail in 2014.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

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