India

India convictions over Gujarat Dipda Darwaza killings

  • 30 July 2012
  • From the section India
Rioting in Gujarat in 2002
The riots in 2002 were some of the worst in post-independence India

A court in India has convicted 22 people for involvement in the 2002 religious riots in Gujarat state.

The court has acquitted 61 others in the case known as the Dipda Darwaza massacre.

All the convicted were found guilty of attempt to murder but cleared of the more serious charge of murder.

Eleven members of a family, including two children and a 65-year-old woman, were killed on 28 February in the Dipda Darwaza area of Mehsana district.

One of the convicted has been found guilty of "dereliction of duty".

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed when riots erupted after 60 Hindu pilgrims died in a train fire in 2002.

It was one of India's worst outbreaks of religious violence in recent years.

Muslims were blamed for starting the train fire, and Hindu mobs eager for revenge went on the rampage through Muslim neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat in three days of violence following the incident.

The cause of the Godhra train fire is still a matter of fierce debate.

A commission of inquiry set up in 2008 by the Gujarat state government determined that it was the result of a conspiracy.

But a 2005 federal government inquiry concluded that the fire had been an accident - probably started by people cooking in one of the carriages - and was not the result of an attack.

Gujarat's authorities have been accused of not doing enough to stop the riots.

Narendra Modi, Gujarat's chief minister since 2001, has always denied any wrongdoing in connection with the riots but has never expressed any remorse or offered any apologies.

A 2008 state inquiry exonerated him over the riots.

A special investigation team (SIT) was set up by the Supreme Court to investigate some of the most prominent riot cases.

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