India court acquits 69 Hindus of murder of 11 Muslims during 2002 riots

An Indian courtroom on Thursday acquitted 69 Hindus, together with a former minister from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP), of the homicide of 11 Muslims throughout communal riots within the western state of Gujarat in 2002.

The killings occurred in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after a suspected Muslim mob set hearth to a practice carrying Hindu pilgrims, setting off one in every of unbiased India’s worst outbreaks of non secular bloodshed.

A complete of 86 Hindus had been accused of the killings within the Naroda Gam district of Ahmedabad, 17 of whom died throughout trial. All of the accused had been free on bail.

“We’ve got been saying from the primary day that they had been framed,” protection lawyer Chetan Shah, who represented 82 of the accused, stated. “Among the accused weren’t current on the scene on the day of the incident.”

Shamshad Pathan, who represented the victims, stated they’d problem the courtroom’s determination in a better courtroom.

“Justice has eluded the victims as soon as once more. We’ll examine the grounds on which the courtroom has acquitted the accused individuals,” Pathan stated.

These acquitted embody Maya Kodnani, a former minister of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP, who was a lawmaker on the time of the riots, former Bajrang Dal chief Babu Bajrangi, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief Jaydeep Patel.

Bajrang Dal and VHP are Hindu nationalist teams and have shut hyperlinks to the BJP.

Kodnani was additionally an accused in a case through which 97 folks had been killed within the 2002 riots. She was convicted however later acquitted by a better courtroom.

At the very least 1,000 folks, largely Muslims, had been killed throughout Gujarat within the 2002 riots. Activists put the toll at over twice that quantity.

Critics accused Modi, who was chief minister on the time, of failing to guard Muslims. Modi denied the allegations and a Supreme Courtroom-ordered investigation discovered no proof to prosecute him.

The acquittal comes eight months after 11 males jailed for all times for the gang-rape of a pregnant Muslim girl through the riots had been freed on remission, in accordance with Reuters, drawing condemnation from the sufferer’s widower, attorneys and politicians.

The boys had been convicted in early 2008 and launched from jail in Panchmahals within the western state of Gujarat on August 15, when India celebrated 75 years for the reason that finish of British rule.

Panchmahals’ high bureaucrat advised Reuters that the district jail advisory committee had really useful the discharge after contemplating the time the 11 had spent in jail and their good habits.

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