Maya Kodnani, convicted ‘kingpin’ of the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre and a former aide of Narendra Modi, has been granted bail on health grounds.
A division bench of the Gujarat high court Wednesday accepted the former state minister’s petition seeking regular bail as she is suffering from multiple ailments. She is currently serving a 28-year life sentence in Sabarmati jail for her involvement in the killing of 97 Muslims in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya locality — the worst massacre of the 2002 riots.
With the court granting regular bail, Kodnani’s sentence stands suspended and will resume only when she goes back to jail.
Earlier in February, the high court had granted her temporary bail for treatment but subsequently refused to extend the bail term.
A gynaecologist, Kodnani was the BJP MLA from Naroda during the 2002 riots, which broke out after the Godhra train fire that killed 59 kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya. In the riots that followed, more than 1,000 people — mostly Muslims — were killed, including the 97 at Naroda Patiya.
A Supreme Court-appointed special investigation Team (SIT) made Kodnani an accused in the Naroda Patiya case, accusing her of inciting the mob and supplying weapons. She was arrested in March 2009, following which she resigned as minister of state for women and child development.
In August 2012, a special SIT court convicted and sentenced Kodnani to life, describing her as the “kingpin of the massacre”.
The SIT plans to challenge the bail order in Supreme Court.