69 Hindus accused of killing Muslims within the Gujarat riots, throughout which at the very least 1,000 folks have been massacred, are freed on bail.
An Indian court docket has acquitted 69 Hindus, together with a former minister from
the ruling Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP), of the homicide of 11
Muslims throughout communal riots within the western state of Gujarat in
A complete of 86 Hindus have been accused of killings within the
Naroda Gam district of Ahmedabad, 17 of whom died throughout trial.
All the remainder of the accused have been freed on bail on Thursday.
“We now have been saying from the primary day that they have been framed,” defence 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 court docket’s resolution in a better court docket.
“Justice has eluded the victims as soon as once more. We are going to examine the grounds on which the court docket has acquitted the accused individuals,” Pathan stated.
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 considered one of unbiased India’s worst outbreaks of non secular bloodshed.
READ MORE: Hindu monk jailed after calling for ‘genocide’ of Muslims
Failing to guard Muslims
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 accused in a case wherein 97 folks have been killed within the 2002 riots. She was convicted however later acquitted by a better court docket.
A minimum of 1,000 folks, largely Muslims, have 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.
READ MORE: Fragile calm prevails in Indian states after days of non secular clashes