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The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald
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February 3, 2009

Woman minister faces arrest for Gujarat riots, had led violent mobs that attacked Muslims in Ahmedabad

Mayaben Kodnani, an aggressive Hindutva leader and Gujarat minister, who is accused of inciting mobs that killed 83 Muslims in Naroda Patia near Ahmedabad, is now on the run.

The Special Investigations Team (SIT) that is probing the Gujarat riots on Supreme Court's direction, found that Maya Kodnani and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Jaideep Patel had lied to the investigators.

The witnesses had said that both had incited the mob to attack Muslim houses during the 2002 Gujarat riots. But the duo--Kodnani and Patel, countered the charges and claimed that they were not present in the localities mentioned then.

However, the call records of their cell phone conversations exposed the lies. Kodnani presently holds the charge of woman and child welfare and higher education. She is a practicing doctor also.

Dozens of witnesses had named and identified Mayaben Kodnani. In their statements, they informed the SIT that she had handed over kerosene from her car to rioting mob. Other statements also concurred with the findings.

Through their lawyers, Kodnani and Patel have filed for anticipatory bail in the court. The SIT's police officers had recently sent them notices regarding the imminent arrest but they have been evading the investigators.

The SIT chief said that the duo has been delared absconder and could be arrested anytime now. He said that efforts were on to catch Kodnani and Patel. Kodnani is a three time BJP MLA. She had wide support among local Sindhi populace.

TIH Bureau


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