Ahmedabad: Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani acquitted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case by the Gujrat High Court on Wednesday.
In August 2012, a special court for SIT cases had sentenced Kodnani to 28 years of imprisonment, while Bajrangi was given life imprisonment till death.
The High court, however, upheld the conviction of former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi in the case.
A division bench of Justices Harsha Devani and AS Supehiya pronounced the verdict. The bench said charges against Kodnani could not be established.
The special public prosecutor in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, Prashant Desai, said that 11 witnesses gave different statements on Maya Kodnani’s presence at the Naroda Gam location and that there were contradictions.
Bajrangi, whose conviction was uhpeld by the court, was named one of the conspirators in the case.
The trial court had sentenced seven other accused to 31 years’ rigorous imprisonment, while 22 others were given 24 years in jail.
Twenty-nine others were acquitted in the case. Kodnani is currently on bail, while Bajrangi is in jail.
The Naroda Patiya massacre took place on 28 February 2002 at Naroda, in Ahmedabad, during the massacre. 97 Muslims were killed by a mob of approximately 5,000 Hindu people, organised by the Bajrang Dal.
Bharatiya Janata Party was in power in the Gujarat State Government.[The massacre at Naroda occurred during the bandh (strike) called by Vishwa Hindu Parishad a day after the Godhra train burning. The riot lasted over 6 hours, during which the mob looted, stabbed, sexually assaulted, gang-raped and burnt people individually and in groups.