Court convicts 24 over Gujarat massacre

A court in India has found 24 people guilty of involvement in one of the most notorious massacres during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat.

The special court acquitted 36 others in the so-called Gulbarg Society killings in Ahmedabad city.

A mob attacked the complex, hacking and burning 69 people to death.

The riots were some of the worst since Indian independence. More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died after a train fire killed 60 Hindu pilgrims.

Muslims were blamed for starting the train fire, and Hindu mobs eager for revenge went on the rampage through Muslim neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat during three days of violence that followed.

The Gulbarg residential complex in Ahmedabad was one of the targets where many Muslims were burnt to death and their properties set on fire.

Ehsan Jafri, a prominent Muslim politician and a former Congress party MP, was among those killed.

Survivors of the Gulbarg massacre say he fired his gun in self-defence as the mob attacked the complex.

Mr Jafri’s family, activists and critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was chief minister of the state at the time, say he did little to stop the riots.

Zakia Jafri, the MP’s widow, says her husband called Mr Modi for help but it never came.

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