The Congress Wednesday welcomed the court verdict convicting a former Gujarat minister and 31 others in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, saying that a minister’s involvement showed the culpability of the Narendra Modi government.
“No minister would have been involved in such a crime unless they had the consent of the chief minister,” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said on the verdict pronounced by a Gujarat court.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid too welcomed the court decision, saying that it would “enhance people’s faith in the legal system”.
However, he refused to comment on the Gujarat chief minister. “I don’t want to mix politics with issues around the case. It is not a political battle, but a legal and moral one,” Khurshid said.
Modi was the chief minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party government when a mob killed over 90 Muslims in Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad on Feb 28, 2002.
Mayaben Kodnani, the then Naroda legislator and a minister, is among those convicted by the court. Witnesses told the court that she had incited the mob to kill.
Modi’s government is accused of being a tacit party to the 2002 Gujarat riots in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.