An Indian court on Tuesday handed down 11 death sentences and 20 life terms to those found guilty of setting a train in Godhra, Gujarat, on fire in 2002, reports the Associated Press. The fire, which killed mostly Hindu religious activists and was blamed on a Muslim conspiracy, triggered anti-Muslim rioting that left 2,000 dead.
The initial verdict remains controversial, as the court confirmed that the fire resulted from a conspiracy, and found 31 Muslims guilty of conspiracy and murder, but yet the supposed chief architect of the alleged conspiracy was set free due to lack of evidence.
Narendra Modi, as chief minister of Gujarat, continues to try to distance himself from the riots, after being mostly cleared of wrongdoing by a special investigation team tasked with determining whether he ordered police to let the 2002 violence continue.
So far, the reaction to the Godhra verdict has been muted, suggesting that Modi has succeeded, and Indians have tacitly accepted the riots as part of a cycle of sporadic violence.