Press Release, August 29, 2012
Justice at last… “historic verdict in the Naroda Patiya mass murder case” in Gujarat, India
Citizens for Justice and Peace
Hailing the historic verdict in the Naroda Patiya mass murder case delivered by Judge Jyotsnanbehn Yagnik. Special Sessions Judge in Ahmedabad today by which one senior politician and several conspirators and ring leaders have been convicted, Victim Survivors and CJP welcomed the verdict. In all 32 persons have been convicted including former BJP MLA and minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, Smt Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi, Bipin Panchal, Ashok Sindhi and Kishan Korani (sitting corporator, accused No 20) have been convicted. Twenty-nine of the accused were acquitted.
Most of the accused have been charged with Sections 143, 144, 147, 148 with 149, 295, 427, 435, 436, 440, 153, 153a, 153a(ii), 323-326,302, 307 (attempt to murder) read with 149 read with 120(b) and BP Act 135(1). Accused No 22 Suresh Langda Chara has also been convicted under Sections 354 and 376 (sections that deal with rape and gender violence). Quantum of sentence will be pronounced on August 31. Smt Kodnani had been convicted under Sections 295, 427, 435, 436, 440, 153, 153a, 153a(ii), 323, 324, 325, 326, 302, 307, 120-B of the IPC. Babu Bajrangi has been convicted under sections 143, 144, 147, 148 with 149, 295, 427, 435, 436, 440, 153, 153a, 153a(ii), 323,324,325,326, 302, 307 read with 149 read with 120-B.
The raw courage of the victim witnesses, especially women witnesses who deposed fearlessly while still residing in Naroda Patiya is a reflection of the confidence generated after the Supreme Court monitoring and the protection from Central Paramilitary forces provided by the Supreme Court. CJP had applied to the apex court for protection of eye witnesses. CJP through its legal team advocates Altaf Jidran and Raju Shaikh supervised by senior Adv Yusuf Shaikh provided legal aid to about 70 eyewitnesses since 2009. CJP would like to publicly acknowledge their contribution, also the seniors advocate MM Tirmizi (Gujarat High Court), Mihir Desai (Mumbai) and advocates Kamini Jaiswal (Supreme Court), Sanjay Parikh (Supreme Court), Aparna Bhat (Supreme Court) and Ramesh Pukhrambam (Supreme Court).
Eleven eyewitnesses have deposed in eye witnesses testimonies assigning in detail the role played by Smt Maya Kodnani, in inciting the mob to murder, fifteen witnesses deposed through eye witness testimonies against Babu Bajrangi, 48 witnesses testified to the crimes committed by Suresh @ Langda Chara including the offences of gender violence and rape. (Annexed are the list of witnesses with a brief of their testimonies). The CJP would like to state that it was the evidence through eye witness testimonies that enabled convictions. Corroborative evidence was provided through the phone call records provided by police officer Rahul Sharma and Tehelka’s Operation Kalank. Without eye witness testimonies whoever convictions could not have taken place.
Victim witnesses supported by CJP had also filed separate applications under Section 319 praying for police officer and then first PI KK Mysorewala to be arraigned as accused along with former Commissioner of Police PC Pandey and SRP official Dhantaniya. While the Judge rejected these applications, she has observed in the victim application for compensation for rape and gender violence that the application would be considered in the final judgement.
Names of accused who have been convicted. Naresh Agarsinh Chara (accused 1); Murlibhai Naranbhai Sindhi (accused 2); Ganpat Chanaji Deedawala (accused 4); Vikrambhai Maneklal Rathod (accused 5); Haresh @ Hariyo S/o Jivanlal @ Agarsinh Rathod (accused 10); Babubhai @ Babu Bajrangi Rajabhai Patel (accused 18), Kishan Khubchand Korani (accused 20); Prakashbhai Sureshbhai Rathod (Chara) (accused 21); Suresh @ Richard @ Langdi Kantibhai Dedawala (Chara) (accused 22); Premchand @ Tiwari Conductor (accused 25); Suresh @ Sehjad Dalubhai (Marathi, Charo) (absconding) (accused 26); Nawab @ Kalu Bhaiyo Harisinh Rathod (accused 27); Manubhai Keshavbhai Maruda (Bhangi) (accused 28); Shashikant @ Tiniyo Marathi Yuvraj Patil (accused 30); Babubhai Jethabhai Salat (accused 33); Lakshmanbhai @ Lakho Budhaji Thakor (accused 34); Dr. Mayaben Surendrabhai Kodnani (accused 37); Ashok Hundaldas Sindhi (accused 38); Harshad @ Mungda Govind Chara (Parmar) (accused 39); Mukesh @ Vakil Ratilal Rathod (accused 40); Manojbhai @ Manoj Sinhi Renumal Kukrani (accused 41); Hiraji @ Hero Marwadi @ Sonaji Danaji Medhwan (Marwadi) (accused 42); Bipinbhai @ Bipin autowala Umedray Panchal (accused 44); Ashokbhai Uttamchand Korani (Sindhi) (accused 45); Vijaykumar Takhubhai Parmar (accused 46); Ramesh Keshavlal Dedawala (Chara) (accused 47); Sachin Nagindas Modi (accused 52); Vilas @ Viliyo Prakashbhai Sonar (accused 53); Dinesh @ Tiniyo Govindbhai Barange (Marathi) (accused 55); Santoshkumar Kodumal Mulchandani (accused 58); Pintu Dalpatbhai Jadeja (Chara) (accused 60); Kirpalsinh Jagbahadursinh Chabda (accused 62).
Eight charge sheets were filed in this historic case that lasted several months. It was one of the nine cases being supervised by the Supreme Court and was investigated by the SIT.
Secretary & Trustee
Other Trustees: IM Kadri (President), Nandan Maluste (Vice President), Arvind Krishnaswamy (Treasurer), Alyque Padamsee, Cyrus Guzder, Javed Anand, Anil Dharker, Javed Akhtar, Ghulam Pesh Imam, Rahul Bose, Cedric Prakash