Amit Shah’s statement backing Naroda riot accused Maya Kodnani ‘not believable’, SIT tells SC

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has told a special court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case that BJP chief Amit Shah’s statement defending one of the main accused and former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani is “not believable” and should not be considered.

In September last year, Shah had appeared as a defence witness for Kodnani, who had requested the court to summon him to prove her alibi — that she was present in the Assembly and later at the Sola Civil Hospital on the day the 2002 riots broke out and not at Naroda Gam.

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Special Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas told Justice M K Dave yesterday that Shah’s statement defending Kodnani was irrelevant, as it was made after a long delay. “Shah’s statement is not believable, as none of the other accused mentioned about her presence at the Sola Civil Hospital,” Vyas told the court here.

The matter will be next heard on Friday.

Shah had told the court that he met Kodnani in the Gujarat Assembly in Gandhinagar and later at the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad on the day the riots took place.

The Naroda Gam case is one of the nine major 2002 communal riot cases, which were investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team.

Eleven people belonging to the Muslim community were killed in the Naroda Gam riots during a bandh call made to protest the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002. Besides rioting and murder, Kodnani has also been charged with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder in the case.

She was convicted and sentenced to 28 years in jail for her role in the Naroda Patiya riots, in which 96 people were killed. However, in April this year, the Gujarat High Court had acquitted her.

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