Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fallen heroes of Hindutva

Gujarat EDN
DNA 30AUG2012

Rise & fall of Maya Kodnani
DNA Correspondent
The verdict in the Naroda Patia massacre case has virtually ended the political career of three-time BJP MLA Dr Maya Kodnani. She has been held guilty of conspiracy and murder in connection with the Naroda Patia massacre in which 97 people were killed on February 28, 2002.
Kodnani is the first BJP MLA, first former minister and the first woman to be convicted in any of the nine ghastly riot cases that were reinvestigated by the SIT on the orders of the Supreme Court.
Kodnani is BJP MLA from Naroda assembly constituency and was minister of state for women and child development when she was arrested in the massacre case by the SIT.
Her story has not ended with the Naroda Patia case verdict as she is also an accused in the Naroda Gam massacre case in which more than 8 people were killed on February 28, 2002. Judgment in the Naroda Gam case is pending and is likely to be delivered by the end of this year.
A gynecologist by profession, Dr Kodnani entered politics when she was elected councillor from the Naroda area in 1995. Her political career picked up after she was first elected MLA from Naroda in 1998.
She wielded great political clout in her constituency as well as in the ruling BJP after her successive victories in 2002 and 2007. Maya won the last assembly election from Naroda by a huge margin of 1.8 lakh votes.
However, she ran into serious trouble after she was arrested by the SIT in March 2009. She was released on bail but her agony did not come to an end as she had to regularly attend court hearings during the trial along with other accused of the case. She lost all her powers after she was removed as minister in the Narendra Modi government.
During the trial of the case, she had gone back to her medical profession and spent her time examining patients at her women's hospital at Saijpur Tower in Naroda. However, she did attend some BJP functions and Lok Darbars when she could find time. Two women, Ramila and Geeta Chhara, were also accused in the Naroda Patia case along with Maya Kodnani but they have been acquitted. In the Dipda Darwaja massacre case, there were two women accused but they also were acquitted by the court.
After delivering the judgment in the case on Wednesday, the judge asked Kodnani whether she wanted to say anything. Kodnani replied that she had been made a victim of politics.

While Kodnani is first riot-tainted BJP minister to be convicted, Bajrangi was held guilty of murder