Naroda Patiya case: Maya Kodnani says Amit Shah was with her at the time of killings

Maya Kodnani wants to present Amit Shah in her defence in the court to prove her innocence. Is this her way of saying that if she goes down, others will too?

Photo courtesy: Getty images 
Photo courtesy: Getty images

Bhasha Singh

Maya Kodnani, an accused in the Naroda Patiya killings, who was a minister in the Modi government of Gujarat at that time has once again played a gamble on her defence by putting forth the name of BJP’s national president Amit Shah. She has appealed to the court once again that she wants to present Amit Shah in court as a witness to prove her innocence. She claims that when the killings were taking place, she was with Amit Shah only. Through Amit Shah, she wants to raise a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Maya Kodnani was found guilty of her role in 2012 and was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. In Naroda Patiya massacre, at least 100 Muslims were killed. In 2014, Maya was granted bail by Supreme Court and at present she has challenged the sentence that was handed out to her.

The question is why does Maya want to call Amit Shah to court as a witness to prove her innocence. Why is she playing a game which targets BJP President Amit Shah? In Gujarat, this is an open secret that Maya Kodnani and Amit Shah never shared a good rapport. Both are considered poles apart. People close to Maya Kodnani believe that it was Amit Shah who boobytrapped Maya and Maya now can save herself only by cornering Amit Shah.

Journalist and author of the book Gujarat Files, Rana Ayyub, told National Herald that Maya Kodnani now was feeling that if her political career was being destroyed then she would rather go down with the politically powerful heads of that time and their confidantes. “When I had gone to meet her during a sting operation, Maya Kodnani had openly expressed her resentment against then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Even today by calling Amit Shah as a witness in her defence, she is just reflecting the sentiment that she alone can’t be made the scapegoat. Definitely, there can be or there are many other people’s brains at play behind this step of hers,” the author said.

There are serious implications of her statement in the court that at the time of the Naroda Patiya massacre, she was with Amit Shah. Maya knows that Amit Shah is very close to Narendra Modi and that Modi will do whatever it takes to save Shah. She had said the same thing during Rana Ayyub’s conversation with her. The script of this game can be better gauged by reading some excerpts from Rana Ayyub’s Gujarat Files. The excerpt of the conversation between Maya and Rana Ayyub is given here in which Maya is speaking her mind quite openly:

Question- What’s happening with Modi after that business of Amit Shah’s name?

Answer- After my arrest and bail I have not had the occasion to talk with him. We have met twice I think on two occasions

Question- What is his reaction on seeing you?

Answer- He does not react at all. He doesn’t say anything. I also don’t say anything. However, that is my problem. I will deal with it. God will help me. Why should I expect that someone else would help?


Question- What is the thing with this Amit Shah?

Answer- He is His man, very close.

Question: I felt that Anandiben is very close to him?

Answer- Anandi Ben is like the right hand and Amit Shah the left one. He left no stone unturned for saving Amit Shah. Advani came to meet him, Sushma Swaraj too went to his home to meet him.

Question- What happened during all this querying and talking to him?

Answer- He had gone for the SIT enquiry also but he was released.

Question- But the way you were arrested, he should have also been arrested in the same manner?

Answer- (nodding her head) yes..yes..

If this conversation is seen with regards to Maya Kodnani’s appeal in the court, it becomes very clear that she is in a mood to settle old scores.

Although, according to the BJP sources, Amit Shah will not be present in the court as a witness in Maya’s defence. The court has granted Maya Kodnani time till September 12 to present Amit Shah as her witness.

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Published: 11 Sep 2017, 2:45 PM