Maya Kodnani, a former minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet who was convicted for her involvement in one of the worst cases of communal rioting in Gujarat in 2002, is being given electric shock therapy at a government run hospital after being diagnosed with an acute depressive disorder.
The 60-year-old former child and welfare minister was in August 2012 sentenced to 28 years in prison for leading a mob which killed 97 people in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya.
Doctors at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad said electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is considered the last line of treatment in cases of depression. Doctors attending on Ms Kodnani said she has displayed suicidal tendencies and has not responded to aggressive medication.
They said she is being administered the shock treatment under anaesthesia. The ECT is standard psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in patients.
Ms Kodnani has been in hospital since last one week. She was granted three months’ bail in November on medical grounds. The Gujarat High Court recently rejected her plea for a 180-day or six-month extension of bail, but the Supreme Court granted her interim relief by giving her a week’s bail that ends on Monday next.
The former minister was once known to be close to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the general elections, due by May. A legislator when she was arrested, she is the highest ranking person convicted in the 2002 Gujarat riots.