11 sentenced to life for Gulbarg massacre during ’02 Gujarat riots

india-riotAn Indian court has sentenced 11 people to life in prison for their roles in the Gulbarg Society massacre during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, when over 1000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the riots sparked by a fire on a train that killed 60 Hindus.

Critics of PM Narendra Modi who was the state chief minister at the time, say he did little to stop the riots. The special court in Ahmedabad called the incident the ‘darkest day in the history of civil society’.

Zakia Jafri, the wife of Ehsan Jafri, a Muslim politician and former Congress party MP, who was among those killed, expressed disappointment at the sentencing, and said ‘she was there when Ehsan Jafri was killed, it’s not justice at all. Survivors of the Gulbarg massacre say he fired his gun in self-defence as the mob attacked the complex.

Mrs Jafri says her husband called Mr Modi for help but it never arrived.

Mr Modi has always denied any wrongdoing and has not apologised for the riots, and a Supreme Court panel also refused to prosecute him in 2013, citing insufficient evidence.