Stating that no one can deny that the riots took place in 2002, and that no one can even justify it, former BJP minister Maya Kodnani on Saturday said that she could not imagine that she would be convicted by the trial court in the Naroda Patiya massacre of 2002, as the witnesses were “tutored”.
A day after her acquittal by Gujarat High Court in the case, Kodnani, who was closetted in her home on Friday, spoke with The Sunday Express about the case at her residence in Yogashram Society, near Shyamal Crossroads in Ahmedabad.
About the 2002 massacre, she said: “Ghatna ghati hai jisko koi nakar nahi sakta. Isko koi sahi nahi kah sakta. Jo hua galat hua, aur isko achcha koi kah hi nahi sakta hai. Jiske bhi dil me manavta hogi isko sahi nahi kah sakta hai. Humko sahanubhuti hai un logon se [No one can deny that the incident took place. What happened was wrong, and no one can deem it as right. Anyone who has humanity cannot justify it. We have sympathy for those people (the Muslims)].”
But referring to the late complaint against her, Kodnani said, “Lekin 2002 se lekey 2008 tak koi kahey hi nahi…aur 2008 mein pehli baar koi bolta hai. Is it possible for any MLA jisko sab jante ho? [From 2002 until 2008, no said anything. Only in 2008 someone speaks out for the first time. Is it possible for an MLA who is known to all?)”
Referring to witnesses, who testified that she was leading the mob, inciting them to kill Muslims, Kodnani said: “Some (of them) said they saw me a car, some said (I was) in Scorpio (an MUV)…unn becharon ko tutor kiya gaya thha…un becharon ne bol diya, kya kah sakte hain. [Those poor witnesses were tutored, they said it; what could be done]. So, on the day of judgment (by trial court on August 31, 2012) I was confident that I won’t be convicted…”
Kodnani, who was out on bail on health grounds when the High Court verdict came, Saturday went to Naroda area to meet her well-wishers, sought blessings at temples, and spent some time at Shivam Maternity and Surgical Nursing Home — she was a practising gynaecologist.
Kodnani also said that she always had her party’s support while the case was on. “I am a BJP karyakarta and will always work for the party,” she said. She also said, “I don’t want to blame anyone (for what she went through for six years).”