Maya Kodnani, a minister in the Narendra Modi government, who will now have to spend 28 years in prison for her role in one of the worst cases of rioting, was finally done in by her phone call records.
The log not only established her presence in Naroda Patiya on the day 96 innocents were burnt to death, it also reveals her connection with the political and police establishment. Importantly, the Special Investigations Team (SIT) did not submit a report probing the role of the police and the government.
Senior advocate-activist Mukul Sinha is now planning to move the high court asking for then MoS home Gordhan Zadaphia, the police officers and the officials in the chief minister’s office (CMO) to be arraigned as accused.
“Judge Jyotsna Yagnik, who delivered the Naroda Patiya judgment asked the SIT to submit a report but they never did. We will now be filing a writ in the high court,” Sinha said.
The log revealed that Kodnani, an MLA from Naroda Patiya in 2002, was in touch with the CMO, Zadaphia and senior police officials.
Soon after Kodnani’s conviction, the Modi government tried to distance itself from her on the grounds that she was not a minister in 2002, but the log clearly established that four phone calls were made between Kodnani and the CMO on February 28, the day Naroda Patiya massacre took place, and March 1.
On February 28, Kodnani made a call to the CMO at 19:46 hours, lasting 79 seconds. On the same day, another call at 20:14 lasted 103 seconds. On March 1, Kodnani received a call from the CMO at 13:09 hours that lasted 179 seconds. Thirteen minutes later, at 13:24 hours, yet another call lasted 75 seconds.
Kodnani and Zadaphia spoke to each other on the night of February 28 at 20:14 hours for 103 seconds and again the next day for 93 seconds at 19:43 hours. Similarly, Kodnani was in touch with JT CP, MK Tandon, and KK Mysorewala, the police inspector incharge of Naroda.
Sinha told the HT, “How can the SIT rely on the same data to establish Kodnani’s complicity and yet not probe the larger conspiracy, linking the rioters to the political establishment? We will be moving the court within a fortnight.”