Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, an accused in the 2002 Naroda Gam riots case, was at her hospital on the day of the massacre, a defence witness told the trial court here today. Raiben Thakor, the witness, was questioned by Kodnani’s lawyers as well as the prosecution before the judge for the Special Investigation Team (SIT) cases, P B Desai.
Thakor said she saw Kodnani at the Shivam Maternity and Surgical Nursing Home, Kodnani’s hospital where she practised as a gynaecologist, at around 1 pm on February 28, 2002. Thakor said she had gone there as her daughter-in-law was expecting a baby. Kodnani was in the hospital all the while and helped deliver the baby at around 5.30 pm, Thakor told the court.
Kodnani, a BJP MLA in 2002, later went on to become minister of women and child development department in the Narendra Modi government.
Dhaval Shah, a partner doctor at Kodnani’s hospital, will depose as a witness on Friday. Earlier, Kodnani’s husband Surendra Kodnani had told the court that she had not gone to Naroda Gam, the scene of the riots, as she was busy overseeing a delivery at the hospital.
The prosecution, on the other hand, has claimed that it was Dhaval Shah and not Kodnani who managed the hospital full-time.
Naroda Gam massacre is one of the nine major riot cases investigated by the SIT. Eleven Muslims were killed at Naroda Gam, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on February 28, 2002 in the aftermath of Godhra train burning incident.
Eighty-two persons including Kodnani are facing trial in the case. She has already been convicted in the Naroda Patiya riots case and is currently out on bail.