Maya Kodnani, the prime accused in the 2002 Gujarat Naroda Patiya massacre, was on Friday acquitted of all charges by the Gujarat High court.
Maya Kodnani, the prime accused in the 2002 Gujarat Naroda Patiya massacre, was on Friday acquitted of all charges by the Gujarat High court. The court acquitted Kodnani – who was earlier convicted and sentenced to 28 years imprisonment – giving her benefit of doubt. She was the only woman among the 32 accused in the riots case. Kodnani is a BJP member and served as a state minister under then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. As per an Indian Express report, Kodnani started her career in politics and was on the rise after the riots.
Kodnani’s origin is said to go back to the Tharakpar area of Sindh from where her father, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, migrated from during partition. She was born and brought up in Gujarat. She completed her early education in a Gujarati-medium school in Deesa area of Banaskanth district which was run by her father. Later for higher education, Kodnani moved to Baroda Medical College and completed MBBS and Diploma in Gynaecology and Obstetrics. After completing education, she set up a maternity Hospital at the Kubernagar in Ahmedabad’s Naroda.
Maya Kodnani started her political career in Ahmedabad. She joined the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, which is the parallel organization of the RSS for women. Later, she contested Ahmedabad civic polls in 1995 from Saijpur ward. She was elected three times (1998, 2002, 2007) from the Naroda Constituency as the member of the Legislative Assembly for the BJP.
Despite her alleged role in the Gujarat riots, she was assigned the portfolio of MoS, Women and Child Development ministry of the state under the Chief Ministership of Narendra Modi in 2007. But within two years of assuming the charge, she resigned from her post after being found guilty by a trial court of her involvement in the Naroda Patiya Massacre.
Role in riots:
Maya Kodnani was found guilty by a Gujarat trial court for her involvement in 2002 Gujarat Naroda Patiya massacre in which 97 people were killed by rioters in broad daylight at Naroda Patiya area on February 28, 2002. She was convicted with others on August 31, 2012, and was sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment. The trial court had held Kodnani as the main accused of the violence. Later, the Ahmedabad High Court granted her bail on grounds of ill health. On April 20, 2018, the High Court acquitted her of all charges.