Naroda Patiya case: Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi convicted
Ahmedabad: It is the day of judgement in one of the most tragic cases in the 2002 Gujarat riots. A trial court in Ahmedabad will deliver its verdict in the Naroda Patiya massacre in which 95 people were killed mercilessly and the accused include a former BJP MLA and a senior state BJP leader.
The case has been probed by a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team.
For Shakila Bano, eight of whose family members were killed by a murderous mob right in front of her eyes, life is no longer the same. She has, however, shown the courage to move back to her home.
A key witness in the trial, Shakila eagerly awaits the judgement and hopes those who tore apart her family, are handed stringent punishment.
“My entire family was killed. How can I forget anything? It doesn’t seem as if it has been 10 years, it all is still fresh in memory,” she says.
Politicians incited the mob: Eyewitness
Of the total 62 accused in the case, about ten are in custody, and the remaining are out on bail.
Twenty five fresh arrests were made, including that of former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, after the SIT took over investigation in this case. Another influential accused is former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi.
An eyewitness to the massacre, Bashir Khan Mansuri, says, “These leaders could have used their influence over people to stop the violence. Instead they incited the mobs. They should be punished according to the law.”
Naroda Patiya is a high profile case, not only because close to a hundred people were killed right in the heart of Ahmedabad, but also because top politicians like Maya Kodnani have been named as accused.
Survivors who have lost their family members say that the only consolation is exemplary punishment for those who committed the crime.