Naroda Patiya massacre: Who is Maya Kodnani?

BANGALORE: Former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years in jail on Friday for murder during one of the country's worst religious riots, when up to 2,500 people, most of them Muslim, were hunted down and hacked, beaten or burnt to death in 2002. Maya Kodnani, a lawmaker for Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and 30 others were jailed for their role in the so-called Naroda Patiya massacre, the single bloodiest episode of the three-day riots. Here are some facts about the disgraced lawmaker:

#1 Maya Kodnani, a gynaecologist inducted as minister of state for women and child development by Modi in 2007, is the first former minister to be found guilty in any case relating to the riots.

#2 Kodnani, Gujarat's minister for women and child development from 2007 to 2009, was the highest-profile figure to be convicted in connection with the riots.

#3 A known LK Advani loyalist, Maya Kodnani had been charged with instigating the mob and distributing weapons in possibly the biggest single pogrom of the riots.

#4 In her heyday, the young gynaecologist who had married a fellow Sindhi general physician, Surendra Kodnani, made use of her husband's Sangh parivar connections to climb the political ladder.

#5 It was around the time she first became councillor from Naroda in 1995 that Maya established the clinic, Shivam Surgical Nursing Home, which soon became a landmark in the middle-class neighbourhood.

#6 Crying inconsolably, Kodnani, a three-time Naroda MLA who was identified in court by 11 survivors as a mob leader, said she was a 'victim of political conspiracy'.

#7 Through her three stints as MLA and her two-year ministership, she continued treating patients at the clinic while her husband helped manage it ' till the price of the massacre of 97 Muslims threatened to catch up with her.

#8 Maya had graduated as an MBBS from Ahmedabad and later earned a DG (Diploma in Gynaecology) but never did her master's (MS). Her fortunes rose after the 2002 riots and she became city BJP chief and then a state minister.

#9 But things changed once the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team arrested her in 2009 and she had to spend two months in jail and resign as minister.

#10 The disgraced gynaecologist and former minister sold it two months ago, sensing she could be convicted in the riot case against her and it would be impossible to run the establishment from jail, a source close to her said.