The Gujarat High court is likely to pronounce the verdict on the several appeals in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case on Friday. A total of 97 people were killed by rioters in broad daylight at Naroda Patiya area on February 28, 2002.
BJP leader Maya Kodnani. (PTI)The Gujarat High court is likely to pronounce the verdict on the several appeals in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case on Friday. A division bench of the High court comprising Justice Harsha Devani and Justice A. S. Supehiya concluded the hearing and reserved the order in the case in August 2017.
In 2002, a trial court had convicted and sentenced 32 people to life imprisonment which includes many senior leaders of the ruling BJP. Former minister Maya Kodnani, currently out on bail, was awarded 28 years of imprisonment. The trial court had held Kodnani as the main accused of the violence, while Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi was sentenced to life imprisonment till death.
Seven accused were given enhanced life imprisonment of 21 years and the remaining were given simple life imprisonment for 14 years. All the convicts had filed an appeal petition before the High court. Apart from these, the trial court acquitted 29 other accused for lack of evidence.
During the hearing, the High Court judges had visited the site of the incident in Naroda Patiya area to understand its topography. A good number of judges have also recused themselves from the case during the hearing on appeals which includes justices Akil Kureshi, M R Shah, K S Jhaveri, G B Shah, Sonia Gokani and R H Shukla.
What is Naroda Patiya case?
On February 27, 2002, S-6 of Sabarmati Express train, carrying Kar Sevaks from Ayodhya, was set on fire in which 58 of them were burnt to death. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal declared Gujarat Bandh the next day. On February 28, a mob came out on the roads in Naroda-Narol Highway and gathered at Naroda Patiya.
As per The Indian Express, the written submission by the Special Investigation Team stated that at around 9:30 AM, “Dr Maya Kodnani, the MLA of the Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya area, after completing the mourn meeting in the Vidhan Sabha came near Noorani Masjid and as per the evidence on record she m
ade some speech and said: “Kill Muslims, destroy the property of Muslims.”
It says that after some time Maya Kodnani left the place and the mob went on rampage. She was spotted at the scene of offence by ten witnesses. SIT has said that the incident was a “pre-planned conspiracy in view of the Godhra train carnage case,” reported IE.
A total of 97 people were killed by rioters in broad daylight at Naroda Patiya area on this day.