Indian politicians get life term for involvement in Gujarat riots

Published: August 31, 2012
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Former state minister sentenced to 28 years in prison; Bajrang Dal leader to remain in jail for the rest of his life. PHOTO: REUTERS

Former state minister sentenced to 28 years in prison; Bajrang Dal leader to remain in jail for the rest of his life. PHOTO: REUTERS

AHMEDABAD: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former state minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi were awarded life term by an Indian court for their involvement in a massacre of Muslims during religious riots in Gujarat in 2002, Times of India (TOI) reported on Friday.

Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years in prison, while the court has ordered that Bajrangi will remain in jail for the rest of his life.

Kodnani, who served as a minister in Gujarat’s Hindu nationalist state government from 2007-2009, was found guilty over the killing of 97 Muslims in the Naroda Patiya suburb of the city of Ahmedabad.

The violence was triggered by the deaths of nearly 60 Hindu pilgrims in a February 2002 train fire that was at first blamed on a mob.

Hindus hungry for revenge rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods across Gujarat in an orgy of violence that marked some of India’s worst religious riots.

Human rights groups say more than 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • notandindiantroll
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:03PM

    good.

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  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:18PM

    Great verdict. Welldone

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  • Hemant
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:28PM

    Ajmal Kasab for Mumbai attack and Modani and Babu Bajranji for Gujrat riots convicted and in jail .
    Long live the Indian judicial system .
    Masterminds await to be bought to justice .

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:33PM

    @Prabhjyot Singh Madan:

    I agree. Better late than never. Should cool down communal tensions considerably.

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  • Human_being
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:36PM

    That’s I call democracy and unbiased judiciary decision will shut the mouth of many who were beating drums about Indian Muslim treatment in India. With this decision, I am proud Indian today.

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  • FJ
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:38PM

    …and Malik Ishaq (killer of hundreds of shia Muslims) is just detained for 14 days. WOW!!!

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  • Muslim
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:39PM

    For liberals, this news does not even deserve a comment!

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  • pervaiz memon
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Too little too late Recommend

  • Closure
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:51PM

    It is a just verdict.

    The arson (if it was that) in the Sabarmati Express at Godhra was a heinous act. But the way to respond to that heinous act would have been to let the law handle it. For those who disagree and say that it was better to teach Muslims a lesson then and there since the law would have taken forever to find and punish the arsonists, I would only say that this verdict and sentencing proves you wrong.

    Yes – it required single minded and heroic dedication of activists and their unstinted efforts for ten years, to force the law and judiciary to provide justice in this case. It would probably have required similar dedication and time from a set of activists to bring the arsonists to justice. But that would have been the correct way. And it would have been worth it. Rather than the horrific, cynical, base, inhuman, and unjustifiable actions of the people sentenced today, which were inflicted on helpless people who had nothing to do with the actual arsonists of Godhra.

    It has been once again proved that actions (can) have consequences. I do not have a feeling of revenge against the people sentenced today. But I am happy and proud that the dedication of some of my co-citizens, and the judicial system of my country, have delivered closure to at least some of the reprehensible incidents of ten years ago.

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  • Muzaffar
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:53PM

    so much to learn from India

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  • a&a
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Shame on PCO SC CJ !!!! always protecting his Family Crimes . . . ???

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  • Indi-Pop
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:54PM

    One of those days when I feel proud to be an Indian and can tell our neighbours in Pakistan: JUSTICE is Served in India even if delayed. Our system churns slowly but grinds well.

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Aug 31, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Hope this conviction will act as a deterrent against any further attempt of misadventure in future!!!!!

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  • Ezaz
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:04PM

    Death penalty to Kasab but imprisonment to politicians?

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  • Syed
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:18PM

    We Pakistanis should learn from our neighbors. Even though I don’t agree with the sentences, I believe these two along with kasab should get death penalty. This is still better than Pakistan as Malik Ishaq even after killings hundreds of people is living a great life. People are so scared of him that he will be released again and spread hatred and kill more innocents.

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  • observer
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:31PM

    @Muslim:

    Liberals have been demanding the same for the emirs of SSP and ASWJ, but the Pakistani judiciary has not responded.

    Now, should liberals say, India Zindabad?

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:32PM

    On the other hand Hafiz Saeed is a rock star in Pak.

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  • Mujhe hay hukm e azan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:40PM

    @Indi-Pop:
    Justice delayed is justice denied

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  • vasan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:48PM

    pervaiz memon : Better late than never

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  • observer
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:02PM

    @Mujhe hay hukm e azan:

    Justice delayed is justice denied

    Absolutelly true. So, tell me when are the Gojra killers being sentenced?

    Or, the butchers of East Pakistan, for that matter?

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  • amit
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:29PM

    @mujhe hay hukm.. lets see what you guys do in case of Mumbai. India is no Pakistan mate.

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  • Khan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:31PM

    @Mujhe hay hukm e azan:

    Justice delayed is justice denied

    But in Urdu we say ‘Khuda ke haan dair hain andhair nahi’

    Thus what you just said isn’t correct .. reality is they have put them behind bars while in our society criminals are showered with rose petals, encouraged to hold public gatherings for short term political gains and are set free.
    If they punish these criminals its better for their own society and their future, if we don’t its eating away the fabric and balance in our society.

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  • Aug 31, 2012 - 6:32PM

    @Ezaz:
    Vienna,August 31,2012
    Charge against Ajmal Kasab was waging a war against India.Here
    is premeditated rioting case. Besides, the judgment takes into
    consideration of the global trend to limit death sentences.That is
    the reason imprisonment life long was given. It was a fair judicious
    decision.
    As human and an Indian I am proud of Judge Jyotsna Yagnik,
    a brahmin by caste, I am very proud of her.I am born brahmin
    agnostic,have Muslim friends with whom I live and eat. They live
    with me and share my food as well.If I can believe in as many gods
    as there are lives of all kinds including rats for worship in temples
    I have no problem making namaz on road with other passengers
    as I did in 1970 in transit in Afghanistan.We believe in religious
    pluralism as much as political pluralism. I am proud of Indian justice.
    It is still early to say more as I wait to study the entire text of the
    judgment. I appeal to the Editor of Express Tribune on line publish
    the text of the judgment when it is available so the Muslim readers
    know the kind of justice we are used to.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • IndianMuslim
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:32PM

    And only 14 days jail for Malik Ishaq??

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  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Aug 31, 2012 - 6:55PM

    @observer:
    @pervaiz memon:
    @Ezaz:
    Ladies are not handed out death sentences now in the indian system. Baba bajrangi is sentenced for life.no life outside jail means a slow painful life better than instant death. At least the legal system is doing its work. Modi is next pervaiz, many of us hate him for his political inaction.observer, we should care more about India, gojra, is their problem. We have won a victory, modi can be pointed out next for appointing a minister in his cabinet who is now tainted. India will win , modi is not India, Gandhi was and still India. Damn the RSS and shiv sena. We will win because we have to do it for mother India. Jai hind, sat Sri akal, rab rakha

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  • Muslim
    Aug 31, 2012 - 7:05PM

    @observer: oops, you proved me wrong with the comment, but exposed yourself my pseudo liberal friend! Will you appreciate that despite many unfortunate events by fanatics here, none of them actually match the scale of this henious incident? Will you appreciate the whole plot making which our fanatics are yet to outperform? Will you also appreciate the extent of state involvement?Recommend

  • Mirza
    Aug 31, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Not a single rightwing political leader is given these kinds of sentences in Pakistan. The terrorists have safe havens while the secular and liberals have terrorist bullets. My salaam to Indian justice system and fairness.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 31, 2012 - 8:00PM

    @Prabhjyot Singh Madan: What i particularly like about the verdict is that some of the big fish had got there due normally it is the rank and file who get caught and the main instigators go scot free.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 31, 2012 - 8:10PM

    @Hasan Mehmood: Welcome verdict but i doubt the communal tensions will come down for to many people that is their bread and butter.If the tensions come down the hard liners would starve .

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  • Muslim
    Aug 31, 2012 - 8:44PM

    @Mirza: So mere being a rightwinger deserves a sentence! Wow! You sound like a typical narrow minded delusioned liberal!

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  • akhtar
    Aug 31, 2012 - 9:34PM

    On the eve of Babary mosque incident an ex Minister leading a mob burnt six Hindos including women and children in Loralai Balochistan was not sent to jail for a single day.This is the difference between two states.

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  • Aug 31, 2012 - 9:51PM

    The policy is simple, you commit a crime, you have to do the time.

    Hindu or Muslim. India is fair to all peoples.

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  • JaMeS
    Aug 31, 2012 - 11:03PM

    I hope Pakistani judiciary will also take some bold steps by prosecuting the 2009 Gojra killers who nearly destroyed everything belonging to Christians including taking their lives.

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  • suraj
    Sep 1, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Whereas in Pakistan, victims are jailed; even a 11 year old kid too; I fear, possibly the word Mercy is also banned in Pakistan..

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  • Arindom
    Sep 1, 2012 - 1:50AM

    Good verdict!
    We must protect our Secular India at all costs!

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  • kaalchakra
    Sep 1, 2012 - 2:17AM

    Nothing but tokenism. No substance. Same old, same old.

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  • khalsa
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @Ezaz:
    216 vs 97

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  • observer
    Sep 1, 2012 - 7:30PM

    @kaalchakra:

    No substance. Same old, same old.

    Just read about 7 more Shias gunned down.

    Old shame! Old shame!

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  • arjun singh
    Sep 2, 2012 - 1:04AM

    Hurrah for the impartial and independent Indian judicial system. Now if Pakistan would emulate this example and show that its justice system is equally free and independent, and bring to justice those notorious mullah-gangsters who were responsible for the carnage of innocent men, women and children in Mumbai. By bringing to justice such figures as Hafiz Saeed, who was actually in the control room giving orders to the killers in Mumbai, Pakistan could demonstrate its sincerity in returning to the community of civilized nations. This could also, to some extent, mitigate the grief and suffering of those who lost their dear ones at the hands of killers from Pakistan such as Kasab and others. This could be the gentle touch to the fierce resentment against and opposition to the Pakistani cricket team’s visit to India. Pakistan has lost many opportunities in the past to repair its relations with India which could be its future saviour by offering greater opportunities in trade, business and industry, and help the former wean away from its overt dependence on foreign aid and makes it look like a perennial holding the alms bowl for rich Western donours to offer it some coins. .

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  • jssidhoo
    Sep 2, 2012 - 4:17PM

    @kaalchakra: Ostrich

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  • proud israeli jew
    Sep 3, 2012 - 7:22PM

    wish we have a faster judicial system and a seperate one to deal with corruption….

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