Naroda Patiya: Kodnani Acquitted, Babu Bajrangi’s Sentence Upheld

As many as 97 Muslims were killed in the Naroda Patiya massacre that took place on 28 February 2002.

Updated
India
4 min read
 Maya Kodnani, former Gujarat minister, being escorted to prison by police after a court hearing in Ahmedabad in 2014 after conviction in the Naroda Patiya case. 
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The Case So Far

A division bench of Justices Harsha Devani and AS Supehiya which will pronounce the verdict in the Naroda Patiya case on Friday, 20 April. The bench had earlier reserved the order on the appeal of convicts in August 2017.

Five years earlier, in 2012, a special trial court for SIT cases had sentenced 32 people, including former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, to life imprisonment.

While Kodnani is currently out on bail, the trial court had held that she was the mastermind of the violence in the Naroda area. Another high-profile accused, former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, was sentenced to life imprisonment till death.

Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years of life imprisonment.

Seven accused were given enhanced life imprisonment of 21 years, which they will serve after undergoing 10 years’ imprisonment under Section 326 (causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.

The remaining accused were given simple life imprisonment (14 years). The trial court also acquitted 29 other accused for want of evidence.

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

During the course of hearing, the High Court judges had visited the site of the incident in Naroda Patiya – where 97 Muslims were murdered – to understand its topography.

A number of High Court judges, including Justices Akil Kureshi, MR Shah, KS Jhaveri, GB Shah, Sonia Gokani and RH Shukla, recused themselves from the case during the hearing on appeals.

(With inputs from PTI)

6:03 AM, 20 Apr
KEY EVENT

Babu Bajrangi's Conviction Upheld

Former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi’s conviction was upheld by the Gujarat High Court on Friday, 20 April, in the Naroda Patiya riot case.

Bajrangi was sentenced to life imprisonment till death by a special trial court in 2012.

6:05 AM, 20 Apr
KEY EVENT

Maya Kodnani Acquitted

Gujarat BJP minister Maya Kodnani, who was earlier sentenced to 28 years of life imprisonment in the Naroda Patoya riot case, was acquitted on Friday, 20 April, by the Gujarat High Court.

In August 2012, a special court for SIT cases had sentenced 32 people, including the Naroda MLA at that time Maya Kodnani, to life imprisonment.

The trial court had held that she was the mastermind of the violence in Naroda area.  
6:29 AM, 20 Apr
KEY EVENT

Was Not Present in Naroda on the Day of Riots: Kodnani

Former Naroda MLA Maya Kodnani, who was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court on Friday, 20 April, had claimed that she was 30 kilometres away at Sola Civil Hospital at the time the riots broke out at Naroda Patiya.

Reading the verdict, Justices Harsha Devani and AS Supehia ruled that the key witnesses’ testimonies were taken eight years after the massacre and their accounts were contradictory.

Thus, the BJP leader was given the benefit of doubt as few police witnesses too claimed that they did not see Kodnani at the crime scene before the massacre.

BJP president Amit Shah had testified is September last year that when the riots took place, he had seen Maya Kodnani first at the Gujarat Assembly and then at the hospital she ran.

6:41 AM, 20 Apr

Chief Conspirator Who Distributed Swords Freed: Teesta Setalvad

Activist Teesta Setalvad, who has been fighting for the victims of the Gujarat riots, tweeted that “a chief conspirator, is today freed of charge of conspiracy and distributing swords n Inciting a mob.”


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