anti-muslim riots

Gujarat violence: A truly just sentence?

As 31 are sentenced to life imprisonment over the 2002 Post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, India, the families of some of the approximate 1,000 victims can be at peace. But what about the rest?

31 of those responsible for killing hundreds of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Lack of evidence allowed 11 of the accused had to be exonerated, along with 31 were asked to pay 25,000 rupees (£315).

The violence in 2002 that lasted for months had erupted in response to 59 Hindu pilgrims dying of smoke inhalation on a train after a militant Muslim group was alleged to have set it alight.

Approximately 1,000 people were killed during the riots that followed the train burning, most of whom were Muslims, according to the BBC.

Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi was last month acquitted of accusations that he did not take sufficient action to stop the riots and may have encouraged them.

Yesterday’s court hearing was the first post-Godhra riot case of its kind.


Unreported details: Unbalanced sentencing

The Banerjee Commission, set up by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, speculated that the train fire in Godhra could have been an accident.

The sentencing of 11 Muslims to death and 20 to life imprisonment this year ended discussions over the origin of the fire.

But members of Bajrang Dal, a militant Hindu organization, were alleged to have been provoking a response from the Muslim group in Godhra, prior to the burning, according to reports by the Hindu.

According to India News Agency, during post-riot probing Mr.Vakil, a Government lawyer, admitted that protocol had dictated that records of related telephone calls and police movement logs had to be destroyed.

The sentencing for the Godhra train burning was much harsher than the sentencing for the post-Godhra riots, in which 100 times as many people were killed.

None of those convicted for the riots were sentenced to death, as opposed to the 11 who were for the train burning.

The minds of only a handful of the riot victims’ families will be able to find peace, as the majority of the accused were acquitted.