A special court today sentenced BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 30 others, who were convicted on Wednesday, to life imprisonment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case.

Maya Kodnani (File pic)

This is the first time a former minister has been convicted and punished in the case.

All convicted, including Kodnani, were charged under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder) and 120B (conspiracy).

The massacre took place a day after the Feb 27, 2002 Godhra train burning incident in which 59 people were burnt to death. A rioting mob had then attacked Naroda Patiya, killing 97 Muslims.

Babu Bajrangi (File pic)

Witnesses told the court that Kodnani, who was a legislator of the area, had been inciting the mob.

In 2009, the Supreme Court appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case as well as other cases relating to the Gujarat riots in which 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

Babu Bajrangi was also accused of leading the mob that attacked Naroda Patiya. He was caught on camera boasting about his hand in the carnage.