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Gujarat riots: Accused former minister sent to judicial custody

Source: PTI
April 09, 2009 15:56 IST
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Maya Kodnani, former minister in the Narendra Modi government and an accused in the 2002 riot cases, was on Thursday sent to judicial custody after a local court rejected the application of the Special Investigation Team for extending police remand.

Kodnani, who is an accused in the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya case, in which over 106 people were killed during the post-Godhra riots, was produced in the court after her police custody ended today.

Public prosecutor V P Atre, appearing on behalf of the Supreme Court appointed SIT that is probing some of the 2002 riot cases, submitted before the metropolitan magistrate G M Patel that Kodnani was not cooperating with the investigation and not answering questions properly.

Atre contented that since she was given seven days police remand in the Naroda Gam case, she should also be given as many days police custody in the Naroda Patiya case, for interrogation.

The court rejected the application of the prosecution, saying that they were seeking further remand in the case on the same grounds on which previous remand was granted.

It said that adequate time was given to the SIT for interrogating Kodnani in the Naroda Patiya case and sent the former minister to judicial custody.

Kodnani, the first minister in the Modi government to be arrested in connection with the 2002 riots, and former Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Jaydeep Patel are accused of leading a mob and distributing weapons and inflammable liquid, which resulted in large-scale violence in the Naroda area, located on the city's outskirts.

Patel, who is in judicial custody, and Kodnani have applied for bail in the city and sessions court in Ahmedabad, and the hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 17.

The duo ran out of luck last week when the anticipatory bail they obtained from the lower court was cancelled by the Gujarat High Court once the SIT challenged the lower court's order.

Following the cancellation of their anticipatory bail Kodnani, who was absconding since her name featured in the list of people wanted by the SIT, and Patel surrendered before The police and were subsequently arrested.

The high court, while canceling the anticipatory bail had observed that prima facie, based on the statement of eye witnesses, it is established that Kodnani and Patel were at the scene of the incident on February 27, 2002.
It had also observed that even though over seven years have passed after the incident, the gravity of the offence committed by the accused has not diluted.

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