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Former minister Maya Kodnani sentenced to 28 years jail term: Naroda Patiya riots

Ahmedabad, Sep 1 (): A special court in Ahmedabad on Friday sentenced Former Gujarat state minister Maya Kodnani to 28 years jail term for her role in one of the country’s worst religious riots, in which more than thousand people, most of them Muslim, were hunted down and hacked, beaten or burnt to death in 2002.

A special court in Ahmadabad today announced the verdict to Kodnani, who was brought, in a police vehicle the court in Ahmedabad. The court announced the verdict to a total of 32 people who were convicted in the Naroda Patiya riot case.

Kodnani, a Bharatiya Janata Party member of the state assembly was also the minister for women and child development at the time of the riot in which a number of people were killed, following the burning of a train carrying Hindu activists at Godhra station on 27 February, 2002, which caused the state-wide riots.

Additional Principal Judge Jyotsana Yagnik while hearing the verdict announced that Kodnani will serve 10 years in jail for her conviction under section 326, after which her life imprisonment for conviction under other sections, will start for another 18 years.

Another accused in the case was Babu Bajrangi, the notorious leader of Bajrang Dal’s moral police who was often indulged in illegal activities was sentenced the rest of his life in jail. Of the remaining 30 convicts, 22 were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, while seven will serve a minimum 21 years. One person was absconding.

Modi, who was the chief minister at the time of the riots, turned a blind eye to the ongoing violence but memories of the riots might spoil his image and efforts to present himself as a highly efficient manager of his state’s flourishing economy. Though Chief Minister Narendra Modi insisted that he has done nothing wrong he will find it difficult to twinkle at the fact of the prolonged violence that took place during his regime.