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Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, February 28, 2012
A foetus was allegedly pulled out of a Muslim woman's womb and dangled on a sword 10 years ago in Naroda Patiya. The unborn child was a girl.   She and her mother Kauser Bano, who was allegedly gangraped, are among the 95 people massacred in five hours in this northern area of Ahmedabad city during the 2002 riots.

Gujarat government has contested the crimes allegedly committed against Bano and her unborn child, but Naroda Patiya cannot escape the mark of being the site of the single largest massacre during the anti-minority riots.  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/29_feb_pg15a.jpg

On February 28 a decade ago, a day after the Godhra train carnage in which 59 passengers - mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya were killed - a mob encircled Naroda-Patiya.

The Muslim families residing in the nearly 800 houses in the locality were mostly migrants from Karnataka and Maharashtra.

They had settled in Ahmedabad three decades back, when the city had the "textile mills city" tag.

The entire locality housing mostly daily wagers was set on fire by the mob allegedly led by Naroda's BJP MLA Mayaben Kodnani.

Despite allegations, Ahmedabad police in the first chargesheet filed in the case in 2002 did not make Kodnani an accused. She was not even questioned. Kodnani was added as an accused in 2009 after the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team began its probe.

Before her arrest in 2009, she resigned from the post of the state’s junior minister for women and child development.

Zannatbibi Sheikh, whose son Mustaq was shot during the massacre, said, "We will forget everything when we get justice for the suffering we have undergone. Our family members were slaughtered and burnt alive before our eyes."

Mohammed Salim Sheikh, who identified five accused including Kodnani in court, said the rioters were armed with swords, pipes and pistols. "I saw two persons holding pistols and firing at Muslim houses."

Last month, special trial court judge Jyotsana Yagnik visited Naroda Patiya and walked through every lane.

The court is now hearing the final arguments in the case.