India court commutes death sentence for deadly Gujarat riots

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NEW DELHI – An Indian court has commuted the death sentences given by a lower court to 11 people after one of the many deadly riots that swept the western state of Gujarat 15 years ago in which more than 1,000 people died.

The 11 will now face life in prison. The Gujarat High Court also Monday upheld the life sentences for 20 other people convicted of involvement in setting fire to a train coach in which 60 Hindu pilgrims were killed in 2002.

The court dismissed the Gujarat government's appeal against the acquittal of 63 people due to lack of evidence in the case.

The Gujarat riots, which erupted after the train fire, pitted mobs of Hindus against Muslims, who were widely blamed for setting the fire, though arson was never confirmed.

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