Death Penalty for 31 hindus for killing Muslims in Gujerat,41 acquitted

A court Wednesday convicted 31 Hindus for killing dozens of Muslims by setting a building on fire in Gujurat state during one of India’s worst rounds of communal violence nine years ago.
For several weeks in 2002, Hindu mobs rampaged through Muslim neighborhoods, towns and villages in the state in rioting sparked by an arson attack on a train that killed 60 Hindus. Extremists blamed the train attack on Muslims.
Wednesday’s verdict dealt with an arson attack on a building in Mehsana district, nearly 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Ahmadabad, the main city of Gujarat state. Thirty-three Muslims, including 20 women, who had taken shelter there were burned to death in the fire.
Judge S.T. Srivastava acquitted an additional 41 Hindu suspects of murder charges for lack of evidence. The judge will sentence those convicted later this week. They face the death penalty.
Two of the suspects died during the trial, which had been expedited by orders from India’s top court, the Supreme Court.

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