Gujarat VHP opposes move to seek death penalty for Kodnani



Ahmedabad: Gujarat's VHP leadership is up in arms against Gujarat government's decision to seek death penalty for former state minister Maya Kodnani and nine others in connection with the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case.

"VHP strongly condemns the reported decision of the Gujarat government to seek death penalty for Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajarngi and other Hindus sentenced in the Naroda case," Gujarat VHP General Secretary Ranchhod Bharwad told reporters on Wednesday.

Calling the decision "shocking" and "a blow to Hindus", Bharwad has written to Chief Minister Narendra Modi urging him to withdraw the decision.

Recently, the Gujarat state legal department approved the recommendation of the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to file an appeal in the Gujarat High Court, seeking enhancement of sentences to 10 convicts including former minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi.

It has also decided to demand 30 years' imprisonment for 22 other convicts who were awarded jail terms of 24 years by designated Judge Jyotsna Yagnik on August 31, 2012.

A prosecution panel of three advocates has been appointed to draft and argue the appeal, which will also seek conviction of seven accused, who were acquitted by the designated court.

"We are worried about the safety of Hindus in our nation, as everywhere they are being attacked or feeling unsafe. And in Gujarat, innocent Hindus have been subjected to injustice because they were socially and politically active," he alleged.

PTI