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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 12:50 GMT
Thirteen convicted for India riot
By Sanjoy Majumder
BBC News, Delhi

Gujarat religious riots
The riots left at least 1,000 dead - mostly Muslims
A special court in India has convicted 13 people in connection with the mass murder and gang-rape of Muslims during the 2002 riots in Gujarat state.

A policeman is among those who have been found guilty.

The case was moved out of Gujarat and handed over to federal police by the supreme court which said the state had done little to bring them to justice.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the riots, although independent groups say the toll was nearly 2,000.

Infamous

The convictions were delivered by a special court in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) where the trial was shifted following the supreme court order in 2004.

This was one of the most infamous cases in the Gujarat riots - a Hindu mob attacked a group of Muslims.

Fourteen Muslims were killed and three women were gang-raped.

One of them was Bilkis Bano, who was pregnant at the time and only managed to survive because the attackers thought she was dead.

She was the key witness during the trial and it was the evidence she provided that led to Friday's convictions.

Among those convicted is a policeman who was charged with protecting the guilty.

Sentences will be handed out on Monday.

The Gujarat government, which is run by the Hindu nationalist BJP, was heavily criticised for its poor handling of the riot cases.



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