Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and former VHP leader Jaideep Patel, accused of instigating people during the post-Godhra riots of 2002, were on Thursday granted anticipatory bail by a sessions court in Ahmedabad.
Sessions Judge AK Aasnani granted them bail with the condition that they would not enter the Naroda area of the city till the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) files a charge sheet against them.
The court said Kodnani and Patel will not be allowed to leave the country and asked them cooperate with the SIT in its probe. The court order will remain effective for 90 days.
Kodnani, minister of state for higher education, was declared absconders in the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases, while Patel was shown accused in the Naroda Patiya case by the SIT after they failed to appear before the SC-appointed team despite being summoned twice.
Over 95 people belonging to the minority community were killed and their properties destroyed in Naroda Patia and Naroda Gam by a mob after the Godhra train burning incident in February 2002.
SIT today filed an affidavit in the court which said that according to 15 witnesses, both Kodnani and Patel were present in the Naroda area and were instigating the mob.
Deposing before SIT, the witnesses had said they saw Kodnani distributing kerosene to the people which she had brought in her vehicle. Patel is accused of instigating mobs to take part in riots in Naroda.