06/03/2016, 11.43
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Gujarat massacre of Muslims: 24 guilty, but 36 acquitted

The convictions relate to the death of 69 Muslims in Ahmedabad’s Gulbard Society, victims of retaliation by Hindu extremists. The incident sparked three months of fierce violence, in which more than 1,000 Muslims died. Premier Modi has always been criticized for failing to stop the massacres.


Ahmedabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Ahmedabad court has recognized the culpability of 24 people, including a local leader of the VHP (Hindu ultra-nationalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad), in one of the most violent episodes of the 2002 Gujarat massacres against Muslims.

36 people were however acquitted for lack of evidence. Activists and relatives of the victims have rejoiced at the verdict, but they have also stated that they will appeal against this "incomplete justice."

The ruling was issued yesterday and the sentences are expected to be handed down next 6 June. Judge PB Desai upheld the charge of murder against only 11 of the 24 people found guilty, who now face the death penalty.

The culprits are accused of having planned and carried out the attack on the residential complex of Gulbarg Society in the city of Ahmedabad, during which 69 Muslims were mutilated and burnt.

The attack was in retaliation for a previous act of violence the day before carried out by some people of the Islamic faith.

On February 27, 2002 in Godhra, a group of Hindus was assaulted by a group of Muslims aboard the Sabarmati Express train. The attack left 59 dead and sparked violence by Hindu fundamentalists. In the massacre of Gulbarg Society the politician Ehsan Jafri, at the time the leading member of Congress, also died.

It is estimated that within three months more than 1000 Muslims were massacred in different cities of Gujarat. Prime minister Narendra Modi, who in 2002 was chief minister of the state, has been criticized for his failure to stem the violence. He was accused of conspiring in the fighting, not taking any action to stop them and not having instituted any investigations. Although in 2012 a court acquitted him of all charges, the criticisms are still alive today.

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