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India high court orders formation of special tribunals to handle Gujarat riot cases

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of India [official website] on Friday ordered the formation of five special courts to hear cases stemming from the 2002 Gujarat riots [BBC backgrounder]. The court did not move the cases outside of Gujarat however, as the National Human Rights Commission [advocacy website] had requested [press release], instead ordering [Times of India report] that the courts be set up in the Ahmedabad, Anand, Sabarkanta, Gulbarga, and Mehsana districts. The chairman of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) said that he believes that trials will be completed within a year [Hindu report].

The violence in Gujarat in 2002 began following a fire aboard a train [Times of India report], allegedly set by Indian Muslims, that killed 57 Hindu pilgrims. Following that incident, more than 1,000 people were killed [BBC report] in violence that lasted for two months. The SIT was commissioned last year to handle inquiries into the cases.

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