Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High court pronounced its verdict on appeals in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case today. Maya Kodnani acquitted by the Gujarat High Court in the Naroda Patiya case. The division bench has found no criminal conspiracy in the riots and observed that the none of the witnesses were reliable. The Gujarat HC finds Babu Bajrangi guilty and has sentenced him to 21 year of imprisonment. Suresh Langado alias Richard Chhara has also been found guilty.
The division bench of justices Harsha Devani and A S Supehia had reserved its order in August last year. The court heard a total of 11 appeal petitions filed by the convicts, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) as well as the families of the victims of the riots. While all the convicts appealed against their convictions, the SIT sought enhancing sentences of three convicts, including former Bajrang Dal leader Babubhai Patel. It also appealed against the acquittal of seven accused. The kin of the victims appealed against the acquittal of 29 accused.
What is the Naroda Patiya case?
Naroda Patiya riot is one of the worst incidents which followed the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002, in which 59 kar sevaks were killed. A day after a coach of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire killed 57 people — mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya — in February 2002, a mob went on a rampage in Naroda Patiya. At least 97 Muslims were killed on February 28, 2002. This incident was one of the nine major communal riot cases which were probed by a Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

 

The prime accused

In August 2012, a special court for SIT cases had sentenced 32 people, including former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, to life imprisonment. Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment. Another high-profile accused, former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, was given life imprisonment till death.

The appeal

She has appealed against her conviction, along with all 31 other convicts – including former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi who was awarded life imprisonment with a condition of remission.