Nine people have been sentenced to life imprisonment in India for killing 14 people during the arson attack on the bakery in Gujarat. On surface maybe not a huge story, but it is explosive stuff. [hat tip Mirax]
The Best Bakery incident took place during the 2002 Gujarat riots in India, when mostly Hindu mobs went on a rampage across the state and killed over 1000 Muslims (an official figure, NGOs put it between 2000 – 3000). It was in retaliation to 56 Hindu pilgrims being burnt alive in a train fire in Godhra – back from a rally in the holy city of Ayodhya. Gujarat unfortunately has a long history of communal violence.
This incident is symptomatic of a wider problem: the inability of the Indian justice system to prosecute rioting mobs or their instigators. The key witness behind the case kept changing her stance, and there were widespread allegations of political meddling. The Hindu points to some problems.
Nevertheless, like the anti-Sikh killings of 1984, the vast majority of perpetrators and the pupeteers behind it (like Gujarat chief Minister Narendra Modi), have never been brought to justice. So although this should be welcomed, most Muslims (and some Hindus) affected by the riots will not get any justice.
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Filed in: India,Religion,South Asia