Home / Politics / Policy /  Amit Shah testifies in favour of Maya Kodnani in Naroda Gaam case

Ahmedabad: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah Monday testified in favour of his party’s riots accused former minister Maya Kodnani, supporting her alibi that she was not present at the scene of a riot in which 11 people were killed that day. Kodnani is a key accused in the case.

Shah told a special investigation team (SIT) court in Ahmedabad that he had seen Kodnani at the Gujarat assembly that morning, and also met her at the Sola Civil Hospital later in the day. Shah is the 13th witness to testify in Kodnani’s favour.

On 27 February 2002, a train coach was set on fire at Godhra in Gujarat, killing 57 Hindu pilgrims inside who were returning from Ayodhya. The incident sparked a wave of rioting across the state, in which at least 1,000 people died. The SIT probing the riots accused Kodnani of leading the rioting at Naroda Gaam a day after the Godhra incident.

The assembly was in session on 28 February to pay homage to the victims of the Godhra incident. “She was inside the state assembly at 8.30am... Later on, I left for Sola Hospital as it was in my constituency. I reached there between 9.30am to 9.45am," Shah told judge P.B. Desai. He added that he saw Kodnani when he was leaving the hospital, around 11.00 - 11.30 am.

Kodnani had sought examination of several people, including Shah, to prove her alibi that she was not at the scene of the crime. The others, including her husband have already testified in her favour.

The prosecution claims that Kodnani was at Naroda Gaam around 9.30am to 10.00am.

Kodnani was convicted in August 2012 by a special court in Ahmedabad in connection with the Naroda Patiya riots case, in which 97 Muslims were killed on 28 February 2002.

Kodnani has challenged the verdict in the Gujarat high court.

A gynaecologist by profession, Kodnani ran a clinic with her husband in Naroda before her political career took off. S A three-time member of the legislative assembly (MLA), she won her 2007 election with one of the highest winning margins in the state.

The Supreme Court, which appointed a SIT that inquired into nine riot-related cases in Gujarat, charged her in 2009 in the Naroda Patiya case.

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