Ahmedabad/New Delhi: The Gujarat government on Wednesday said the conviction of former minister Mayaben Kodnani in the Naroda Patiya massacre did not in any way mean that the BJP regime was linked to the killings during the 2002 riots.

"Mayaben Kodnani was not a minister when the massacre took place... her conviction can not be linked to the government," Gujarat government spokesperson Jai Narayan Vyas told reporters after a special court convicted Kodnani and 31 others in the massacre of 97 Muslims in Ahmedabad's Naroda Patiya neighbourhood.

Vyas also said it was not the first time in the country that a minister was being convicted and there have been many instances in the country of former state ministers being convicted.

"The same thing has happened in all the states," he said.

Vyas said that the state government needed to study the fine prints of the judgment before commenting on it.

The BJP Wednesday downplayed former Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani's conviction in a Gujarat riots case, calling it a "legal process".

"We don't want to politicise the judicial process. This is the first court, it is a judicial process, it will go on," said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

He also said that Kodnani had resigned from her post as soon as a charge sheet was filed against her.

The case is related to the killing of 97 Muslims by a mob in Naroda Patiya neighbourhood in Ahmedabad in 2002.

"Whether is anti-Sikh riots of 1984, or the Maharashtra, Assam or Gujarat riots, it is unfortunate and a blot on the face of the nation. Any level of condemnation for any riot is insufficient. We have always criticised the Godhara incident and Gujarat riots, that is our stand," Javadekar said.

Another party leader, Tarun Vijay said that the party respected the judicial process.

"We have full trust in the judicial system of the country. Challenging court decisions on road is the nature of Congress, not BJP," Vijay said.

A special court in Gujarat Wednesday convicted 32 people, including Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, for the massacre in Naroda Patiya.

Kodnani, former women and child development minister of Gujarat, was arrested in 2009.


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