An Indian court on Thursday acquitted 69 Hindus, including a former minister from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, of the murder of 11 Muslims during communal riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002. The killings occurred in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after a suspected Muslim mob set fire to a train carrying Hindu pilgrims, setting off one of independent India’s worst outbreaks of religious bloodshed. A total of 86 Hindus were accused of the killings in the Naroda Gam district of Ahmedabad, 17 of whom died during the trial. All the accused were free on bail. Shamshad Pathan, who represented the victims, said they would challenge the court’s decision in a higher court.

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