AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court on Friday acquitted former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case.
The killings at Naroda Patiya area of Ahmedabad on 28 February, 2002 are one of the worst massacres of the 2002 post-Godhra riots. The locality with nearly 800 houses was set ablaze.
Ninety seven Muslims including 36 women and 35 children, from the Muslim community were slaughtered by a mob of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal supporters following the Godhra riots.
Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment. The court acquitted former BJP minister Maya Kodnani after giving her the benefit of doubt.
However, the conviction of Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi who had also moved the court challenging the previous ruling, was upheld. He was sentenced to life imprisonment till death.
A division bench of the court comprising justice Harsha Devani and justice A. S. Supehiya concluded the hearing and reserved the order in the case last August.
In 2012, a special court for Special Investigation Team (SIT) cases had sentenced 32 people to life imprisonment.
Apart from this, seven accused were given enhanced life imprisonment of 21 years and the remaining were given simple life imprisonment for 14 years.
All the convicts had appealed against their conviction in the High Court.
Around 58 people lost their lives when the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was allegedly torched at the Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal declared Gujarat Bandh.