GANDHINAGAR: Maya Kodnani, a former minister and BJP leader convicted of organising the biggest massacre in the Gujarat riots of 2002, has been told she has till Tuesday to get BJP chief Amit Shah to court and testify in her favour. Mr Shah is the last listed defence witness in her trial; all others have been cross-examined.
Maya Kodnani had been asked to produce Mr Shah today, but she requested 10 more days. She has told the court that she has been unable to determine the address at which to serve him summons.
The court said Maya Kodnani should serve the summons on the BJP chief by Monday and see that he appeared the next day.
In 2012, the former minister was convicted of murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison for her role in the riots in Naroda Patiya, a suburb of Ahmedabad, where 100 Muslims were killed in the single bloodiest episode of the three-day violence. She has also been accused of murder in the riots that took place on the same day, February 28, 2002, next door in Naroda Gram, where 11 Muslims were killed. It is in this case that she wants Amit Shah to testify on her behalf.
Kodnani was granted bail in 2014. The Supreme Court said last week that her trial must be completed within four months.
In April, Kodnani, a gynaecologist, was allowed to summon Mr Shah as a defence witness. She claims that he is crucial in proving her alibi because when the riots took place, 10 kms from Ahmedabad, she was with Mr Shah, first at the Gujarat assembly and then at the hospital she ran.
Both Mr Shah and she were state legislators at the time.
BJP sources said it is highly unlikely that Mr Shah will appear as a witness on behalf of Kodnani, who was a minister in Gujarat and is the most high-profile leader to be implicated in the killings.
After the riots, she was made the Minister for Woman and Child Development by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.