NEW DELHI — An Indian court has imprisoned 11 Hindus for life for the murder of dozens of Muslims during riots in Gujarat in 2002 that shook India at a time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister.
The court sentenced 12 other people to seven years in jail for arson and other charges during the disturbances, in which 69 Muslims were killed, while another defendant was handed a 10-year sentence, prosecutors said.
The massacre occurred during a series of religious riots that flared for two months in Gujarat and killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims.
The court called the massacre the “darkest day” but rejected prosecutors’ demand to sentence the defendants to death, after ruling the attack was not planned.
A Hindu mob scaled the boundary wall of a housing complex in Ahmedabad — Gujarat’s largest city — in February 2002 before torching the homes in which Muslim families were trapped.
Among the victims were children and women who were burned to death.
The riots, among the worst since India’s independence from Britain in 1947, have dogged Mr Modi’s political career for years after he was accused of not doing enough to stop the violence.
Mr Modi, a Hindu, denies any wrongdoing and in 2013 a panel appointed by the Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
The violence also tainted Mr Modi’s international reputation even as he rose in power at home, culminating in his 2014 general election victory.
The United States revoked his visa in 2005 but allowed him to travel there again after his election victory.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.