Naroda-Patiya Riot Case: Maya Kodnani acquitted by Gujarat HC

Maya Kodnani was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case on Friday

Maya Kodnani was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case on Friday

However, it acquitted former Bharatiya Janata Party minister Maya Kodnani, ANI reported.

While Kodnani however had claimed that she was never involved in the activities as she was with former BJP home minister of Gujarat Amit Shah (now BJP President) in the assembly and thereafter had gone to her hospital where is practiced.

However, Jyotsana Yagnik, the former judge of the SIT court who had pronounced the verdict in the Naroda Patia trial, said: "Maya Kodnani has not been acquitted, she has been given the benefit of doubt".

Moreover, the bench turned down an appeal filed by the victims for compensation. He was the key conspirator in the massacre.

Eleven Muslims were killed in the Naroda Gam area on February 28, 2002, a day after 59 kar sevaks returning to Gujarat from Ayodhya died in a fire inside a 3-tier coach of the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra railway station.

The High Court in August 2017 had reserved its order.

The trial court had sentenced Bajrangi to life imprisonment till death. It also commuted the sentence of another convict, Babu Bajrangi, to a 21-year jail term from life in prison. Remaining accused were given simple life imprisonment of 14 years.

While the convicts challenged the lower court's order in the high court, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appealed against the acquittal of 29 people.

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The state government had not opposed the release of the accused on bail but "now you are asking for enhancement of their sentence", the judges said.

"Twelve accused have been convicted". On Babu Bajrangi, he said: "Whatever Babu Bajrangi did was no different from what the others did, so his conviction was on parity".

"The sting operation by the Tehelka was not taken into account by the court".

"Whatever Babu Bajrangi did was no different from what the others did, so his conviction was on parity".

Kodnani entered politics in 1995, when she contested in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections. None of the police officials, who testified, said they had seen Kodnani at the spot and several witnesses turned hostile.

The court heard a total of 11 appeal petitions.

She was found guilty of murder and other charges including inciting religious hatred over the massacre that occurred in the Naroda Patiya suburb of Ahmedabad. "It is a victory of truth", Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said after the HC verdict.

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