first_imgBJP president Amit Shah on Monday testified before a special SIT court that he had seen Dr. Maya Kodnani in the Gujarat Assembly and subsequently at the civil hospital in Sola on February 28, supporting the latter’s contention that she was not present when the Naroda Gaam massacre took place.She is a key accused in the case that relates to the brutal killing of 11 people belonging to the minority community during the 2002 communal riots in the State.Appearing as a defence witness, Mr. Shah told the court that he had “seen Mayaben Kodnani inside the Assembly at 8.30 a.m. and again at the Sola civil hospital around 11-11.15 a.m. and then they were both escorted out by the police.”The bodies of 59 people killed in the Godhra train carnage were brought to the civil hospital in Sola in Ahmedabad. The Sola hospital was part of Mr. Shah’s Assembly constituency Sarkhej in Ahmedabad.In his hour-long deposition, Mr. Shah answered several questions posed to him in the SIT court of P.B. Desai, who is conducting the trial in the Naroda Gaam massacre case.Asked where Dr. Kodnani went from the Assembly, Mr. Shah said he was not aware of the details.He also did not know where Dr. Kodnani went after they left the hospital.He told the court that the Special Investigation Team probing the case had not contacted him for any information regarding Dr. Kodnani’s whereabouts at the time of the massacre.However, several prosecution witnesses submitted that she was leading a mob that carried out the massacre between 9.30 and 10 a.m. in Naroda Gaam, an area falling under her Assembly constituency.In her submission, she named 14 persons including Mr. Shah as defence witnesses and said that she was not present at the place of killings as was being claimed by the prosecution. All the persons she listed as witnesses have testified in her favour before the court.Earlier on September 12, the trial court had asked Mr. Shah to appear before the court on September 18 as defence witness.The court had issued summons after Dr. Kodnani’s lawyer submitted Mr. Shah’s Ahmedabad residence address. Before that, Dr. Kodnani had claimed that she had failed to reach Mr. Shah because he was constantly travelling outside Gujarat.last_img

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