The retired judge who pronounced the verdict in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, Jyotsana Yagnik claimed on Wednesday that the Gujarat government maintained a “status quo” on her security even after she reported “threat letters” and “blank phone calls at odd hours” to the police. She even suggested that the state government seemed unfazed over the issue.
Yagnik was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference that she addressed as a dean of a law institute — United World School of Law — to announce a two-day seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vis-a-vis the amended Companies Act at Ahmedabad Management Association here.
After she reportedly received more than 20 threat letters and blank calls at odd hours, Yagnik had written to the police. Yagnik was given ‘Z’ category security initially though it was scaled down to ‘Y’ category. However, following the threat letters, she had reportedly sought to upgrade the security cover.
On the sidelines of the press conference, Yagnik also commented on the recent development where a division bench of Gujarat High Court recused itself from hearing the petitions of Naroda Patiya convicts on the ground that some accused had tried to approach them. “When they (convicts of Naroda Patiya massacre) can approach high court judges, you can imagine under what pressure the trial judge (herself) had delivered the judgment,” Yagnik said.
In August 2012, Yagnik, presiding over a designated court for the trial of the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, had convicted 32 persons including former minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi. Kodnani was termed as the ‘kingpin’ of the massacre and sentenced to 28-year imprisonment, whereas Bajrangi was ordered to stay behind bars for entire life.