Narora Patia Riot Victims To Go On Appeal Against Kodnani


New Delhi: With former minister in the Gujarat government Maya Kodnani, 63, being given benefit of the doubt by the high court that said the testimonies of witnesses were inconsistent, victims of the communal massacre in Ahmedabad’s NarodaPatiya in 2002 have been planning to appeal against the acquittal of former state minister of charges that she incited the rioters, calling the Gujarat high court’s decision “disappointing”.
The former women and child development minister was among 32 people convicted by a lower court for leading mobs into the predominantly Muslim neighbourhood on February 28, 2002, part of statewide attacks on Muslims in the aftermath of the deaths of Hindu pilgrims aboard the Sabarmati Express in Godhra the night before.

“This is a dark day. I had seen with my own eyes what happened there. If after saying all this (in the court) the court acquits those who were involved in killing the members of my family, then what kind of justice is this?” PTI quoted Shakeela Ansari as saying. Ansari saw eight members of her family murdered by the rioters.
“I had seen Maya Kodnani at a distance of just 25-30 metres. I am disappointed by the verdict. Maya-ben had come not once but twice to the area on the day of the incident. How can the court deny what we had seen from our own eyes,” said another victim, Salim Sheikh, whose house was damaged during the riots. He and Ansari deposed during the trial.
Advocate ShamshadPathan, who represented riot victims, said an appeal will be filed in the Supreme Court. “The judgement is saddening for all those who had faith in judiciary and in Constitution for delivering justice,” he said.

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