Indian ex-minister jailed for life over Gujarat riots
01 September, 2012
AHMEDABAD: An Indian court on Friday sentenced a former state minister to a minimum 28 years in jail for her role in instigating the worst massacre during deadly religious riots in Gujarat in 2002.
Maya Kodnani, who served as a minister in Gujarat's Hindu nationalist state government from 2007-2009, was sentenced to "enhanced life imprisonment" over the killing of 97 Muslims in the Naroda Patiya suburb of the city of Ahmedabad.
Justice Jyotsna Yagnik called the former minister "the kingpin of the religious riots" and awarded her a ten-year and 18-year sentence for murder and other charges including inciting religious hatred.
Yagnik said 57-year-old Kodnani, who was an ally and former minister from 2007-2009 under Gujarat's long-standing Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was guilty of "instigating mobs and provoking unlawful assembly.
"In a way she has helped the entire crime," she said.
Kodnani was among 32 people convicted on Wednesday of murder and taking part in the riots. Of them, seven others received sentences of 31 years minimum, while 22 got standard life sentences of 14 years.