Killing 17 Muslims during Gujarat genocide: 22 Hindutva men acquitted for lack of evidence

In a case related to the 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide, a court in Halol town in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district on Tuesday acquitted 22 Hindutva men for lack of evidence after they were charged with killing 17 Muslims including two children.

“The court acquitted all the accused in the case of rioting and murder of 17 members of a minority community, including two children, in Delol village of the district for want of evidence,” Vibes of India quotes the defence lawyer Gopalsinh Solanki as saying.

The Muslims were killed on 28 February, 2002, and their bodies were burnt with the intention to destroy evidence, said the prosecution.

The defence lawyer said that the prosecution was unable to compile sufficient evidence against the accused, and even witnesses became hostile.

The seventeen Mulsims‘ remains were never discovered, said the defence attorney. Police recovered bones from an isolated place on the banks of a river, but they were charred to such an extent that the identity of the victims could not be established, the defens lawyer said. “Because of lack of evidence, the court acquitted all the 22 accused,” he added.

This February marks the 21st anniversary of Gujarat genocide.

On 28 February 2002, Hindu mobs who were part of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), unleashed massive violence against Muslims in Gujarat that went on for weeks killing thousands of Muslims.

About 2000 Muslims are killed. Some 20,000 Muslim homes and businesses and 360 places of worship are destroyed, and roughly 150,000 people are displaced.

The massacre was unleashed after the burning of 59 Karsevaks on board the Sabarmati Express in Godhra which was probed and declared an accident.

Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India, was accused of initiating and condoning the violence, instructing police to stand by and let Hindu mobs do acts of violence against Muslims.

Strong evidence links the Narendra Modi administration in Gujarat to the carefully orchestrated anti-Muslim attacks. Hindu mobs had detailed lists of Muslim residents and businesses, and violence occurred within view of police stations. Tehelka, used hidden cameras to capture some of the accused speaking openly of how the attacks had Modi’s blessings.

Recent BBC documentary revealed that an inquiry conducted by the government of the United Kingdom into the 2002 Gujarat genocide, indicts the Gujarat state government, stating, “Chief Minister Narendra Modi is directly responsible.”