Naroda Gam Massacre case verdict by a special court in 2002 Gujarat riots
On April 20th, 2023, Thursday, the verdict in the Naroda Gam case in which a total of 11 persons belonging to the community of Muslims were murdered, will be declared by a special court in Ahmedabad. On February 28th in the year 2002, communal violence took place in the Naroda Gam area resulting in the killing of eleven persons. A day before the Godhra train burning in which 58 passengers were killed when they were coming back from Ayodhya. They were involved in the killing of 11 people from the minority community during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Gujarat Minister Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, and Jaydeep Patel, Vishva Hindu Parishad leader are among the accused. Notably, all the accused in the case are currently out on bail, out of 86 accused 18 died in the intervening period. During the trial of the case almost 182 prosecution witnesses were examined. On 16th April, The court of principal sessions Judge SK Baxi marked April 20th as the date of the verdict and also directed the accused to remain present in the court.
Apart from rioting and murder, 67-year-old Maya Kodnani former minister of Gujarat, as well as BJP leader has been also charged with criminal conspiracy as well as attempted killing in the Naroda Gam case. The trial of this particular case commenced in the year 2010 and for the 13 years it goes on with Suresh Shah, a special prosecutor presiding over the case with the six judges. A senior BJP leader Amit Shah (presently Home Minister) appeared for Maya Kodnani as a defence witness, earlier in 2017 September.
Kodnani had requested the court to summon him to prove her alibi that she was not present at the Naroda Gam where the massacre took place. Death is considered as the maximum punishment for these crimes. Maya Kodnani, who was a minister in the Narendra Modi-led government was sentenced to 28 years in jail in the Naroda riot. The High Court of Gujarat released her from the jail after some time. The Naroda Gam Massacre was one of the most crucial communal riots cases in 2002, which was heard by the special courts.