BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday appeared in a special sessions court in Ahmedabad as a witness in the 2002 Naroda Gam case in which 11 Muslims were massacred.
This was after Shah was summoned because the key accused in the case and former Minister in the then Narendra Modi government Maya Kodnani claimed to have failed to get the BJP chief to depose as a witness in her favour.
He told the court that Kodnani was in the state assembly that morning and then at the Sola Civil Hospital.
Shah said, “Maya Kodnani was inside the state assembly at 8.30 am.” Continuing further, the BJP president said that he had left the assembly and reached the hospital between 9:30 and 9:45 am. It was in this hospital, where the bodies of kar sevaks who were burnt to death on the Sabarmati Express in Godhra the previous day, were brought.
He said that met Maya Kodnani while leaving the hospital between 11 and 11.15 am and that they were escorted out together by the police. Both went their separate ways from the hospital, he added.
However, Imtiyaz Qureshi, a victim of Naroda Gam violence, said that they saw Kodnani between 9.30 am and 10 am at the Naroda Gam. “Amit Shah says he had seen her at two places…where did she go in between he doesn’t know,” Qureshi was quoted by NDTV.
One of the 40 questions asked to Shah inside the court room was if he knew where Kodnani was between the time he saw her at the assembly and when in the hospital, the BJP president answered in negative.
As many as 14 witnesses have already deposed and have been examined, reported IANS news agency.
Kodnani is already a convict in cases of rioting that earned Gujarat an international shame in 2002. She was found guilty in the murder of 100 Muslims in a neighbourhood called Naroda Patiya. She is also facing charges of murdering 11 Muslims on the same day in neighbouring Naroda Gram, just 10 kms away.
Kodnani had repeatedly complained that she was not able to contact Shah. Last week, the convict in Gujarat holocaust, was given four more days to find Shah’s address.
According to an unofficial estimate more than 4,000 people, mostly Muslims, had died in the 2002 holocaust of Gujarat. However, the official figure puts the number of people killed at 1200.
The SIT chief, who had given clean to Modi for his role during the genocide, was recently rewarded by being made the envoy of Cyprus. Another IPS officer, part of that SIT, YC Modi, was on Monday appointed the NIA chief. NIA is tasked to primarily deal with the cases of terrorism.
Ironically, Narendra Modi, then Gujarat’s chief minister, had appointed Kodnani the state’s women and child development minister in 2007. She remained in that ministry until 2009, when she was arrested for genocide charges.