Riot victims protest bail to Kodnani, others

Marking the 13th anniversary of the post-Godhra riots, victims call for justice

Published - February 28, 2015 10:39 pm IST - Ahmedabad:

“If you are granting bail to the convicts, you are making a mockery of punishment. They are in and out of jail, or on parole. What kind of punishment is this?” asked Bilawar Umrao Sayyed, a witness in the Naroda Patiya riots case.

Survivors came together for a commemoration on Saturday marking the 13th anniversary of the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Many of those affected by the carnage on Saturday questioned the granting of bail to the accused. They also condemned the reinstatement of several police officers.

Last July, the Gujarat High Court granted bail to former minister Maya Kodnani, convicted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case on grounds of ill health. Recently, her former aide and co-convict Kirpal Singh was also granted bail; Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Babu Bajrangi has been granted interim bail several times.

“Every time we think of what happened, we get gooseflesh. What was our fault that we were targeted this way? We faced threats, pressure, offers of bribe, but we stood our ground and testified and now the accused are getting bail. We are still living in fear,” said Sahakeela Bano Ansari, who lost her family members in the Naroda Patiya massacre.“These are attempts to break our morale. The Gujarat government and police can try all they want, they cannot weaken us,” proclaimed Rupa Mody, who lost her son in the Gulberg Society massacre. At a protest organised by the Jan Sanghrash Manch, victims and activists criticised the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

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