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Babu Bajrangi seeks regular bail; cites blindness, ‘deafness’ in one ear

The High Court, in this regard, has issued a notice to the Supreme Court appointed SIT, which is expected to file its response next month.

Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad |
Updated: December 29, 2016 12:51:18 am
Babu Bajrangi, Babu Bajrangi bail, bajrang dal, life imprisonment, naroda patiya massacre case, 2002 naroda case, gujarat high court, indian express news, india news Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi

Former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, has moved a plea before the Gujarat High Court, seeking regular bail citing “complete loss of vision” and developing “deafness” in one of his ears.

The High Court, in this regard, has issued a notice to the Supreme Court appointed-special investigation team (SIT), which is expected to file its response next month. The petition was moved last week.

According to SIT sources, Bajrangi has produced medical certificates from various hospitals, including Ahmedabad civil hospital and a private hospital in Chennai, which purportedly establish claims of his “blindness” and “deafness” in one of his ears.

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The sources said Bajrangi in his plea claimed that “he is not able to perform his daily activities due to loss of vision and his health condition is continuously deteriorating”. In March 2015, Bajrangi had sought mercy from Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli on the similar ground. In a letter addressed to the Governor, Bajrangi’s wife had appealed for remission of his sentence, citing his medical condition. Kohli had sought response from the SIT, which opined that the letter was not legally valid.

In October this year, Bajrangi was granted temporary bail for the 14th time since he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 on the ground of his wife’s treatment. Earlier in June, a division bench of Justice Harsha Devani and Justice Biren Vaishnav had refused his temporary bail plea, stating, “A perusal of the jail record of the applicant reveals that he has undergone three years, seven months and two days of imprisonment. During the said period, the applicant had availed of temporary bail on as many as 13 occasions.”

The same bench is now hearing the appeal petitions moved by 31 convicts in the Naroda Patiya massacre case. The petitioners included Bajrangi and former BJP minister Maya Kodnani. Bajrangi and Kodnani are also facing trial in the Naroda Gam massacre case. On August 31, 2012, a special court had convicted Bajrangi, Kodnani and 29 others for their role in the killing of 97 people in Naroda Patiya during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Bajrangi was found guilty as “one of the principal conspirators and one of the executors of the conspiracy,” while Kodnani was termed as the “kingpin”.

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