Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kin of Naroda Patiya victims seek exemplary punishment

August 30, 2012 00:48 IST
The families of the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots victims have demanded exemplary punishment to the 32 people, including former Gujarat Minister Maya Kodnani, convicted in the case by a special court on Wednesday.
The special court convicted 32 people, including Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, on charges of murder and conspiracy. 97 people belonging to the minority community were killed in the post-Godhra riots.
"All the convicts should be given such a punishment that nobody in the future can even think of committing such a crime," Shakeela, who lost most of her family members during the communal violence in Naroda Patiya, said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Dildar Umraav Saiyed, who was also present during a press meet organised by Citizens for Justice and Peace, a non-governmental organisation run by social activist Teesta Setalvad, who actively helped the victims get justice.
"This is half-justice. Only when the court awards strict punishment to them, we will get full justice," Dildar said.
According to advocate Altaf Khan Jidran, who was part of the team that provided legal assistance to the victims, Dildar was among the 11 eye-witnesses, who had deposed fearlessly before the court against Kodnani and Bajrangi.
Seventy-year-old Dhaniben Didawala, whose only son Ramesh Keshavlal Didawala was among the 32 held guilty by the court, was upset after the court pronouncement.
"I am a widow. My son had lost his wife last year. He has two children. Now as he is convicted, how at this old age, I would raise his two children?," she said with tears in her