The sentences on Naroda Patyia massacre have been declared.
Maya Kodnani – whom the judge mentioned as “kingpin of riots” – will serve 28 years in jail. Babu Bajrangi is facing even harsher future – to live behind bars for rest of his life. This is the same man who boasted in front on secret cameras how he killed even women and children.
Special Judge Jyotsna Yagnik mentioned in judgment that “This was a pre-planned conspiracy and it cannot be mitigated just by saying it was a reaction of Godhra train burning incident. Nobody can be allowed to take law into their hands because India is a country that upholds rule of law.”
As expected the verdict is strong, but one wonders whether it is strong enough for the crime committed by assassins. Incidents like these makes one think and force us to side with supporters of capital punishment. What else could be given to a butcher who murdered a 20 day old infant (one of the victims of Naroda Patiya)?
On second thoughts, the verdict – and Special Judge Jyotsna Yagnik – is successful in making us realize that “eye for an eye” and “life for a life” should not be the mantra of modern humanity. The society should not behave in the way the culprits behaved; instead, it should respect and keep up dignity of human life, however crooked, inhuman and wretched that life is.
Overall, I think it is a very fine and balanced judgment. Jyotsna Yagnik should feel proud for self, and rest of India should be proud of its judiciary.