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India: Court upholds probe clearing PM over 2002 riots

INDIA: COURT UPHOLDS PROBE CLEARING PM OVER 2002 RIOTS

An Indian high court on Thursday upheld a probe clearing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top officials of complicity over 2002 riots which led to over 1,000 deaths, most of them minority Muslims.

"Our battle for justice will continue," Indian civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad told Anadolu Agency. Setalvad's NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace, and Zakia Jafri, the widow of slain Muslim lawmaker Ehsan Jafri, had sought the court review.

Modi and 59 others, including senior state officials, were named in allegations by Jafri of a larger conspiracy behind the riots in Gujarat, western India, in 2002, when Modi was newly appointed chief minister.

But the High Court in Gujarat upheld a lower court order that accepted a report exonerating Modi. The Gujarat court also ruled out any conspiracy behind the riots.

"However, the High Court allowed Ms. Jafri to move higher for a further investigation of the case," reported The Hindu, country's leading daily.

Ehsan Jafri was among the 1,000 Muslims killed in February 2002 after a train-burning incident which was blamed on Muslims.

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