27 Mar : Holding that "religious fanatics are not less than terrorists", Gujarat High court cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to state minister Maya Kodanani and VHP leader Jaidip Patel, accused in 2002 riots cases, after which she quit from the Narendra Modi government.
"Religious fanatics don’t belong to any religion and they are no less than terrorists. It is unfortunate that so much time has lapsed since the incident took place but that doesn’t take away the gravity of the crime," Justice D H Vaghela observed in his order.
The judge also noted that communal harmony is a hallmark of democracy.The court held that presence of Kodanani and Patel at the scene of offence is prima facie established from the evidence produced by the Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigating Agency (SIT), which is probing certain riot cases afresh.
The court, which rejected their plea seeking time for further appeal, observed that the accused did not do anything to quell or control the mob, which killed 106 people at Naroda Patia and Naroda village incidents.
Kodnani is accused in both the cases while Patel is accused in Naroda village case.The court held that the crime committed by the mob was of "heinous nature" and has "far reaching implications."
On 5th February, an Ahmedabad sessions court had granted anticipatory bail to the duo. They had earlier been declared absconding by the SIT.