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India Convicts 24 for Gujarat Riots Massacre

  • VOA News

An unidentified Indian man accused on a 2002 riot case waves to supporters as he arrives at Ahmadabad's court, India, Thursday, June 2, 2016.

An unidentified Indian man accused on a 2002 riot case waves to supporters as he arrives at Ahmadabad's court, India, Thursday, June 2, 2016.

An Indian court convicted 26 people Thursday for their roles in the killing of 69 Muslims by a Hindu mob in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002.

Eleven of the 24 were charged with murder in one of the worst single incidents in three months of violence which left more than 1000 people dead fourteen years ago.

One of the 69 hacked or burned to death while taking shelter in a residential complex in Ahmedabad was former Congress lawmaker Ehsan Jafri.

Jafri's wife, Zakia, was pleased by the convictions, but disappointed by the judge's decision to acquit 36 other suspects.

"This is incomplete justice and I will fight till the end," she told reporters.

Since 2002, more than 100 people have been convicted over the riots, but many cases remain to be heard.

The sentences of the 24 accused will be announced Monday, and the 11 accused of murder could be sentenced to death.

In February 2002 a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was set on fire, killing at least 58 people. That incident was blamed on Muslims and ignited the communal violence that followed.

The 2002 riots continue to cast a shadow on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was chief minister of the state of Gujarat at the time and has been accused of turning a blind eye to the anti-Muslim violence. Modi has denied these allegations, and they did not hinder his election as India's leader in 2014.

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