Gujarat Riots Massacre, An Indian court has convicted 24 people – 11 for murder – over a massacre during religious riots 14 years ago in Gujarat state, then led by the current prime minister, Narendra Modi.
Judge PB Desai found them guilty of hacking to death and burning 69 Muslims sheltering in a residential complex in the city of Ahmedabad, in one of the single worst massacres of the week-long violence. They are expected to be sentenced next week.
The riots, which left more than 1,000 people dead in total, have long dogged Modi, who was accused by human rights groups of turning a blind eye to the violence as then chief minister of Gujarat.
But the latest verdicts are unlikely to have an impact on the Hindu nationalist premier, who was cleared in 2012 by a supreme court-ordered investigation.
Celebrations erupted in the courtroom in Ahmedabad amid tight security after the verdicts were read out on Thursday, with victims and their families clapping and thanking the judge.
But Desai also acquitted another 36 people for lack of evidence and stated the massacre was a spontaneous attack, not a criminal conspiracy as many victims have alleged.