Gujarat minister yet to appear before probe team

December 28th, 2008 - 12:15 am ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Dec 27 (IANS) Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani Saturday continued to play truant and did not appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court to look into major cases of communal violence in 2002.”She has not appeared before the SIT,” said Ashish Bhatia, joint commissioner of police (Ahmedabad), who is part of the probe team.

Bhatia said she had not given any reason so far for her failure to appear before the SIT.

“However, (former) VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) leader Jaydeep Patel’s statement has been recorded,” Bhatia told IANS late Saturday.

Kodnani, minister of state for women, child development and higher education, was to depose before the SIT in Gandhinagar Friday.

Several victims have said Kodnani and Patel instructed mobs who attacked Muslims in Naroda village and Naroda Patiya localities on the outskirts of the city Feb 28, 2002. At least 97 people were killed in the two places.

Kodnani has denied the charges, saying she was not present at Naroda at that time.

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