Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kodnani gets 28 years in jail for Naroda Patia massacre

Gujarat EDN
TOI 01SEP2012

Termed Kingpin Of Riots; Jail Till Death For Bajrangi


Ahmedabad:A special court in Ahmedabad on Friday sentenced former minister in Narendra Modi’s cabinet Maya Kodnani to 28 years’ imprisonment for her role in the Naroda Patia massacre, the bloodiest of the post-Godhra riots in 2002.
    The 57-year-old gynecologist, who served as woman and child welfare minister from 2007 to 2009, was termed “the kingpin of the religious riots” by special judge Jyotsna Yagnik.
    Kodnani, the MLA from Naroda, was among 31 people convicted on Wednesday, all of whom were given life terms by the court on Friday. She was termed the main conspirator along with former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and seven others.
    The court inflicted harsher punishment looking at her role despite her being a lawmaker. Kodnani will serve a 10-year and 18-year sentence back to back for murder and other charges, including inciting religious hatred. While other convicts were punished for unlawful assembly, she was punished for criminal conspiracy.
    Bajrangi, who was caught bragging in a sting operation, will stay in jail until he dies for his role in the massacre that took place about 8 km from Ahmedabad.
    “India is a secular state and such offence by the elected member of the constitutional body needs to be viewed by the courts very seriously where disharmony, hatred and enmity based on religion was created by investigation and where such crimes were abetted by her (Maya Kodnani),” judge Jyotsna Yagnik observed on Friday as she sentenced the former minister to 28 years in prison.
    The court refused to believe Kodnani’s plea for mercy on the ground that she was a victim of politics. On the contrary, the court said that she was “tremendously favoured” by Gujarat police and all investigators had taken “great care” to see that she was not booked.
    On the roles played by Kodnani and Bajrangi, the court said, “The communal hatred displayed by communally surcharged mob was on account of instigation of Kodnani and Bajrangi or on account of some vested interest who wants division of society on communal bases.”
    The court refused to buy the theory that the Godhra carnage was the only factor responsible for this massacre. It observed that though the genesis was in Godhra carnage, the motive of the convicts was to commit crime by taking law into their hands. “And this cannot be tolerated in a democratic country governed by a secular constitution,” it observed.
    Seven other convicts received sentences of a minimum of 31 years, while 22 got standard life sentences of 14 years. However, their life term, as ordered by court, will start after other jail terms are over. That adds another 10 years, making it a 24-year sentence for these 22 persons.
    The court ordered severe punishment for the merciless killing and inhuman violence that marked February 28, 2002, as the “blood day and the day of horrendous carnage”. Suresh Langado, who is among the group of seven that got 31 years, was the only person sentenced for 10 years for gang rape.
    The court deferred sentencing of one convict Suresh Netalkar because he was absent. The total penalty imposed on each of the accused is Rs 21,200. FIRST WOMAN CONVICTED FOR GUJ RIOTS
    Three-term Naroda MLA Maya Kodnani (in pic) gets 28 years in jail — 10 years for voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons and 18 years’ life imprisonment.
First woman and MLA to be convicted in post-Godhra riots case
    Kodnani convicted for criminal conspiracy as well, disproving Modi’s claim that the riots were spontaneous and the ruling BJP had nothing to do with it
    Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi gets imprisonment till death; 22 to serve 24-year terms; 7 to serve 31 years