11 death sentences for attack on train

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Eleven muslims were sentenced to death yesterday after they were found guilty of setting fire to a train in 2002, killing 60 Hindus. The incident triggered one of India's worst outbursts of communal violence.

The 11 were among the 31 Muslims who were convicted last week of being part of a criminal conspiracy to attack the Sabarmati Express, which was packed with pilgrims, in western Gujarat state.

The remaining 20 defendants were sentenced to life in prison, prosecutor JM Panchal said. Sixty-three others were acquitted, including Maulvi Umarji, a local politician who prosecutors had claimed was the leader of the arsonist mob.

The train deaths set off months of riots when Hindu mobs rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods, towns and villages in Gujarat, killing many.