Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Case Against Maya Kodnani, Convicted In 2002 Riots, Has Gaping Holes -- Part I

Dr Maya Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a special trial judge for “masterminding” the riots in Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam areas in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in 2002. It is highly likely that Kodnani, and others, may have been framed for political reasons, while those who were guilty got away. Here’s why.
On 31 August 2012, Jyotsna Yagnik, the special trial judge, pronounced a 28-year prison sentence against Dr Maya Kodnani for “masterminding” one of the bloodiest episodes of communal violence in Ahmedabad on 28 February 2002. This judgement led to widespread jubilation in the mainstream media, orchestrated by the “secular brigade” allied to the Congress and the left parties. Kodnani was serving as a minister for women and child development in Narendra Modi’s government from 2007. So a jail term for one of Modi’s ministers gave a big boost to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, making them believe that this would pave the way for getting at Modi himself, who was then chief minister of Gujarat.

As in the case of Lt Col Shrikant Purohit’s incarceration, none in the media examined the case with care. Purohit was released on bail in the Malegaon blasts case even though the evidence that he was aiding “saffron terrorism” was thin. The mainstream media simply reproduced the UPA-orchestrated narrative without questioning the evidence in Purohit’s case.

However, after discovering some evidence of mala fide intent in Purohit’s case, I decided to personally examine Kodnani’s case as well. The motivation for it came from reading the judgment of Judge Yagnik, who did not accept large parts of the evidence proffered in favour of Kodnani. For this purpose, I went and met Kodnani’s family in Ahmedabad about two years ago, and examined the evidence marshalled against her as well as the evidence Kodnani had put forward in her defence.

Now that my 2014 exposé regarding Purohit’s case has been vindicated and even parts of the mainstream media have accepted that the UPA government was less than fair with him by jailing and torturing a serving army officer, I hope readers will follow the details of Kodnani’s case with an open mind and judge the case on merit.

Madhu Kishwar

Madhu Kishwar
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