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Truth always prevails: Kodnani on Naroda Patiya case acquittal

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Former Maya Kodnani, who was acquitted in the 2002 Patiya massacre case, today said that she has not yet thought about joining active politics, but will continue to remain a

"Truth always wins," she said on her acquittal yesterday, which came nearly a decade after she was made an accused in the case in which 97 people were killed by a mob.

"I am a BJP worker, I was a and will continue to remain a I have not thought about it (joining active politics), as the court judgement came only yesterday. I am a and will continue to remain so," Kodnani told a local TV channel.

The former three-time MLA said she got the support of her entire family, which gave her "strength to pass through the difficult times".

"Time was put me to the test. This is how I see it. And I have managed to sail through difficult, testing times," she said.

On leaders of the ruling BJP welcoming her acquittal, she said, "I am a BJP worker and, therefore, it is natural for the party's senior leaders and well wishers (to wish me after the verdict)," she said.

A by profession, Kodnani was elected as an MLA three times from constituency in Ahmedabad -- in 1998, 2002 and 2007 -- and became the for women and child development in the Narendra Modi government in in 2007.

She was made an accused in 2008 in the Patiya and Naroda Gam massacre cases by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the post-Godhra riots cases.

In August 2012, a special sentenced her to 28 years in jail for her role in Naroda Patiya case. She had been arrested in March 2009, but was out on bail since July 2014.

In 2017, on her application in a special hearing the Naroda Gam case, had deposed as her defence witness. He had told the court that on February 28, 2002, when the massacre took place, he saw Kodnani in the state Assembly and then at Sola civil hospital, but had no idea where she went after that.

The Naroda Gam case is still being heard by the special court, in which 11 persons of the minority community were killed.

While acquitting Kodnani yesterday, the High Court upheld the conviction of former Bajrang Dal leader in the Naroda Patiya riots case.

The high court said the statements made by witnesses regarding Kodnani's role were contradictory. No prosecution witness mentioned that she talked to them at the relevant time, the high court noted.

The trial court had convicted her for a criminal conspiracy under section 120 (B) of the IPC, but the evidence didn't establish the charge, the high court said.

A mob killed 97 people, most of them from a minority community, in Naroda Patiya area of Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the torching of at Godhra which triggered state-wide riots.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 21 2018. 18:45 IST