AHMEDABAD: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former state minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi were awarded life term by an Indian court for their involvement in a massacre of Muslims during religious riots in Gujarat in 2002, Times of India (TOI) reported on Friday.
Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years in prison, while the court has ordered that Bajrangi will remain in jail for the rest of his life.
Kodnani, who served as a minister in Gujarat’s Hindu nationalist state government from 2007-2009, was found guilty over the killing of 97 Muslims in the Naroda Patiya suburb of the city of Ahmedabad.
The violence was triggered by the deaths of nearly 60 Hindu pilgrims in a February 2002 train fire that was at first blamed on a mob.
Hindus hungry for revenge rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods across Gujarat in an orgy of violence that marked some of India’s worst religious riots.
Human rights groups say more than 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death.