MLA gets 28 yrs for Naroda massacre, Bajrangi to spend rest of his life in jail
A special court today handed 28 years in prison to BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and life in jail till death to former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Patel alias Babu Bajrangi after finding them guilty in the Naroda Patiya massacre of 97 Muslims during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
The court awarded life imprisonment to seven others who had actively participated in the massacre. They were jailed for 32 years. Twenty two others were jailed for 24 years.
Describing Kodnani as the "kingpin", Special Judge Jyotsna Yagnik said the Naroda Patiya massacre was a "black chapter in the history of democracy" and in that single act, people were reduced to "grilled meat".
The court dismissed Kodnani's plea that she was a victim of politics. "A-37 (Maya Kodnani) was tremendously favoured by the then investigating agencies. All care, at the cost of the duty of the IO (investigating officer) and even the interest of the victims of crime, was taken to see to it that the involvement of A-37 does not come on the books. This fact, in fact, comes in the way to believe that A-37 was ever a victim of any politics."
"Their dastardly acts by killing as many as 96 victims by burning them alive at the site of the Muslim chawls itself is a horrifying and terrifying commission of offences."
"The 'khancha' where 58 alone were done away (with) by reducing them to grilled meat can be visualised as a ghastly site where maximum number of victims died, human limbs were found scattered here and there, those who could fortunately survive, tried to save the unfortunate, severely injured victims from the flames... some of whom ultimately succumbed... before getting treatment," the court said.
On the SIT's plea that the death sentence be awarded to the convicts, the court said it considered the fact that they had undergone suffering in the last 10 years as accused, and had been through the lengthy trial of three years.
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