Naroda Gam riot case: BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday backed accused Maya Kodnani’s claim that she was not present at the site of Naroda Gam violence in 2002 which took lives of 11 people. In her application to the SIT court earlier, Kodnani had said that on the day of violence she had visited Sola civil hospital after attending the state Legislative Assembly. She had claimed that Shah, who was an MLA at that time, was also present at the hospital, where bodies of ‘karsevaks’ killed in Sabarmati train burning incident were brought from Godhra.
Kodnani has been convicted in the case over Naroda Patiya riot in which 97 people were killed. In her previous application, Kodnani, a former Gujarat minister, had said that Shah’s testimony would prove her alibi. Deposing in the SIT court as defence witness for Kodnani, Shah today backed her claim.
According to ANI, Shah told the SIT court, “Maya Kodnani was not present in Naroda Gam, she was inside the state assembly at 8.30 am. From 9:30 am to 9:45 am I was at the Civil Hospital and I met Maya Kodnani there.”
“I was surrounded by people when I left hospital. Maya Kodnani and I were taken to our respective cars in Police jeep. It was 11-11:15 am that time,” he added.
The court had summoned Shah on September 12 to appear before it today as a defence witness for former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, who is one of the prime accused.
The Naroda Gam massacre in Ahmedabad is one of the nine major 2002 communal riots cases investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The case dates back to 2002 when as many as 11 people, belonging to the minority community, were killed in Naroda Gam during the then Gujarat riots. These people were killed during a bandh called to protest the Godhra train burning incident.
As many as 82 people are facing trial in the case.
Kodnani, who was serving as a minister in the then Narendra Modi-led state government, has already been convicted and sentenced to 28 years in jail in the case of riot at Naroda Patiya where 97 people were killed, according to PTI.
According to PTI, Kodnani had earlier failed to give the address to which the summons to Shah were to be issued. On two occasions, the former minister’s advocate had sought time for four days each to find out and submit the address on which the summons could be issued to the BJP chief.