Saturday, November 24, 2012

Disgraced, but Maya stays privileged

Gujarat EDN
AM 30AUG2012

Convicts were allowed to meet their families while seated in police van, but BJP MLA's kin were allowed to enter court premises to see her

Vijay Zala and Mehul Jani 

    They were all convicted of their role in Naroda Patiya massacre. But, as it often happens, the politician among them proved to be more equal than others. While the kin of former minister Maya Kodnani were allowed to enter the court premises to meet her, others were denied the opportunity. They had to be content exchanging words with their dear ones near the police van.
    It was an emotional sight when the convicts in case were being taken from the court to the Central Jail. Family members surged to have that one chat with them before they went behind bars. The police looked more than prepared for this.
    Amid strict security, the prison van was brought near the entrance of the court building. The family members of the convicts opposed as this would have denied them the opportunitytomeettheirkin.Thepolicerelented and made arrangements in such a manner that the family members could meet the convicts while theyremainedinside.While,someof the convicts were seen waving at the crowd,somebrokedown.Afewofthe them were heard telling their neighbours to take care of their families while others were heard saying that school fees of their children be paid.
    Kodnani's family members were, however, granted permission to go inside the court building to meet her. Thisledtoprotestfromtheotherconvicts' families who also demanded the same privilege. When Kodnani was taken from the court into the prisonvan,shewasinastateofshock. It was clear, she had not expected the judgment.
Kodnanihadbecomeveryemotional whendesignatedJudgeJyotsanaYagnik pronounced the judgment. The list of 32 convicts included her. The BJP MLA, who was present in the court with husband Surendra Kodnani and younger sister, broke down and cried.
    The accused had prayed before the court that they had families and childrenwhentheirnameswereindividually called out. When it came to Kodnani's turn, words failed her and she was speechless for a few seconds. Thereafter, she folded her hands and requested the court that she suffered from blood pressure, her son studied abroad and she lived alone with her husband. “I am a victim of political vendetta. I should be acquitted,” Kodnanispokehaltinglyandthemoment was emotionally charged up.
    While going back to her seat, Kodnani again folded her hands before SIT officer Ashish Bhatia sarcastically tellinghim,“Doyoufeelyouareright in doing whatever you have done?”
    The other convicts also could not control their tears when they saw the condition of Kodnani. She was in tearswhenshemetherhusband,afellow doctor, as she was being led to the van by the police. Convicts seated near the windows were gesturing to their family who cried out aloud. The cops then reached the place and forcefully moved the family members away.