The Gujarat government on Monday dissociated itself from the affidavit filed in the High Court last week, which allegedly admits the role of its minister Maya Kodnani in the 2002 riots.
The application seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to Kodnani by a district court in Ahmedabad earlier this month was filed in the Gujarat High Court on behalf of the government’s public prosecutor.
Clarifying the government’s stand, Minister of State for Home Amit Shah said the case was being handled solely by the Special Investigation Team (SIT). “In this case, the SIT is the prosecuting agency and the affidavit has been filed by it. The SIT has been constituted and is being monitored by the Supreme Court,” Shah said.
Hindustan Times had first reported on Saturday the contents of the affidavit, which stated that Kodnani, now a minister in the Narendra Modi government, led mobs in the riots and fired from her pistol. She was a BJP MLA at that time.
“During the investigation, it has been revealed that she fired from her pistol and it has been further revealed that she came in her car and distributed swords to the mob,” the affidavit reads.
Government sources are now saying SIT has not carried out its own investigation and has relied heavily on the old statement of witnesses. “The affidavit merely relies on old statements and the SIT did not carry out any independent investigation to corroborate these,” the sources said.
While the state government is treading a cautious path, the state BJP is solidly behind Kodnani. “We respect the law; whatever the court decides, we’ll follow it. As of now, Maya Kodnani is on bail and can continue in her position,” state BJP chief Purshottam Rupala said.
All eyes are now on the high court, which is expected to take up the matter on Tuesday.
Kodnani’s name figures in the SIT’s list of accused, wanted for investigation for her alleged role in the killing of 95 Muslims in the Naroda area of Ahmedabad.