The Naroda Patiya massacre in Ahemdabad on 28 February 2002 killed 97 Muslims. It is the massacre infamous for the gory stories of a pregnant woman disemboweled and raped, a 20 day child killed, and so on. If this massacre is not fit to be considered “rarest of the rare,” what is?
It is ironical that the court found the kingpin of the massacre to be a woman, Dr Maya Kodnani, a practicing gynaecologist, a former Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare in the Narendra Modi government! The court came down particularly hard on her, commenting that as a legislator, a representative of the people she had done the opposite of what she was expected to: she helped kill people rather than save them. “She led the mob and incited them to violence. She abetted and supported the violent mob,” the court observed.
However, special court judge Jyotsna Yagnik chose not to sentence the accused to death when he announced the sentencing on 1 September. Her court found 32 people guilty, of whom one is absconding. 7 will spend 31 years in jail, 22 will spend 24 years, Maya Kodnani 28 years and former Gujarat state Bajrang Dal president Babu Bajrangi is to live the rest of his life in jail. Continue reading Naroda Patiya judgement rekindles the death penalty debate in India
By VASUDHA NAGARAJ via FeministsIndia List
You can download here the report by Magistrate Tamang.
I cannot resist but recount this account of exemplary courage and commitment of a Magistrate working in the Metropolitan Courts of Ahmedabad. He is none other than Magistrate Tamang who has been in the news for the past few days.
Brief facts: We all know about the encounter of Ishrat Jehan and three others in the outskirts of the city of Ahmedabad which took place in June, 2004. Soon after the encounter there were enquiries by human rights groups which declared that it was a cold blooded killing and not an encounter. To counter the demands the Crime Branch ordered a Magistrate to enquire into the matter. It has been reported that no Magistrate was willing to stick his neck into this issue. Finally on 12 August, 2009 the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) ordered Magistrate Tamang to conduct the inquiry. The latter was supposed to conduct this inquiry under S 176 CrPC. This is the section of law in which a Magistrate is empowered to hold an inquiry into the cause of death whenever a person dies while in police custody or when it is a death in doubtful circumstances. Generally, under this section of law, Magistrates record dying declarations of women who are dying and lying in the hospitals.
Continue reading Magistrate Tamang, a hero: Vasudha Nagaraj
Update: See this FAQ by Sundeep Dougal.
Guest post by DILIP D’SOUZA
All over again, timed with the run up to voting, there’s plenty of uproar over Gujarat. A Times of India journalist called Dhananjay Mahapatra wrote a report (NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT, April 14) which casts doubt on a number of aspects of the violence in Gujarat in 2002.
In his report, Mahapatra mentions the Special Investigation Team that has been looking into the violence. On April 13, writes Mahapatra, “the SIT led by former CBI Director RK Raghavan told the Supreme Court on Monday that [Teesta Setalvad] exaggerated macabre tales of wanton killings.” (Note the impression he gives that Raghavan himself was in Court on Monday to say this). Mahapatra’s report also tells us several things that Gujarat counsel Mukul Rohatgi said in Court. Continue reading About Warped Minds