Ahmedabad, Aug 31(Reuters and PTI): Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Mayaben Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years in jail on Friday for murder and conspiracy in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots, in which 97 people, most of them of the minority community, were hunted down and hacked, beaten or burnt to death.
Babu Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal leader and another accused, will have to spend his entire life in jail.
Kodnani, who later became a minister in the Gujarat government, and Bajrangi were among the 32 people convicted by a special court on Wednesday. Additional principal judge Jyotsna Yagnik had held Kodnani and Bajrangi guilty under sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of IPC in the post-Godhra riots case, while acquitting 29 others.
Hundreds of friends and relatives of the 32 people found guilty gathered outside a court in Ahmedebad to hear the sentences, the final step in a years-long case.
Kodnani, a sitting lawmaker and Gujarat minister for women and child development between 2007-2009, was the highest-profile conviction to date in connection with the riots.
The state prosecutor had called for all 32 convicted to face the death penalty. But all 32 were sentenced to jail, for terms ranging from 14 years to life.