India’s Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit against Modi over deadly 2002 Gujarat riots

India's Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit against Modi over deadly 2002 Gujarat riots

June 24. (EUROPA PRESS) –

India’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over deadly religious riots in Gujarat in February 2002, the year he was serving as chief minister of this state, located in the west of the country.

Judge Ajay M. Janwilkar has rejected the lawsuit filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of the late congressional deputy, Ehsan Jafri, who died during those riots, since the accusation of complicity against Modi is “devoid of merit” and therefore “deserved to be dismissed,” says Indian media.

For Jafri, Modi, who was then responsible for Gujarat, was part of that “bureaucratic inaction” that unleashed “conspired and directed violence”, all with “police complacency”. However, the Supreme Court ruling repeats that of previous instances that have not seen any involvement in the prime minister.

That episode was one of the worst outbreaks of religiously tinged violence in Indian history. It all started when a train caught fire as it passed through the town of Godhra causing the death of 58 Hindu pilgrims, instigating severe reprisals for three days, although there were sporadic episodes throughout the year, against the Muslim minority of the region.

The most cautious estimates put the dead at just over 1,000, mostly Muslims. There were more than 200 missing and another 2,500 wounded. A later commission set up by the Gujarat government said the fire was arson and a court convicted 31 people, all Muslims, of involvement in burning the train.

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