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Gujarat riots: Amit Shah appears in court as Maya Kodnani's witness

18 Septembre 2017

Shah's testimony was highly important in wake of SIT's claim that Maya Kodnani was at the riot spot around 10 to 10.30 at that fateful day.

Kodnani is among 82 accused in the Naroda Gam case in which 11 Muslims were killed on February 28, 2002, a day after the Sabarmati Express was torched at the Godhra railway station, killing 59 on board coach S-6, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.

Kodnani, one of the main accused in the Naroda Gam riot case, had in her application to prove her innocence, said that on the day of incident she had visited Sola civil hospital after attending the state Legislative Assembly.

Shah told the Ahmedabad court that Kodnani was present at the Gujarat assembly during the Naroda Gam riot on February 28, 2002. The court had allowed Kodnani's plea to summon Shah and some others as witnesses in her defence in April this year. Modi denies any wrongdoing and has never been convicted in a court of law.

"Maya Kodnani met us at Sola Civil Hospital".

Dildar Umrav Saiyed, a witness said that he was working at his garage, testified in court that he had seen the BJP leader distribute a bundle of sharp weapons. Kodnani had complained that she was unable to reach Mr Shah. I was surrounded by people when I left hospital.

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Kodnani is already a convict in cases of rioting that earned Gujarat an worldwide shame in 2002.

Kodnani has been convicted and sentenced to 28 years in jail in the Naroda Patiya riot case, which led to the death of close to 100 Muslims.

Kodnani was arrested in 2009 while she was serving the state as Women and Child Development Minister.

"I believe what happened in 2002 riots was wrong and I have sympathy for the victims, whether they are Muslims or Hindus", she was quoted as saying in an interview while in relative political wilderness.

Maya Kodnani is one of 79 people facing trial in the case. The Supreme Court had last month asked the Ahmedabad court to conclude trial within four months. Kodnani's lawyers have opposed the prosecution's plea for capital punishment on the grounds that her husband was not in good health and her son was studying overseas.

Gujarat riots: Amit Shah appears in court as Maya Kodnani's witness