Source: AOL News
Wire Service: AP
Hindu extremists accused of killing hundreds of Muslims claim they had the support of a top official long suspected of quietly directing the slayings during riots in western India, according to a news magazine report published this week.
The killings took place over a few days in February 2002, when Hindu mobs rampaged through Muslim neighborhoods in Gujarat state. More than 1,000 people, most of them Muslim, were killed in the violence.
The riots were sparked by a fire that killed 60 passengers on a train packed with Hindu pilgrims - deaths that Hindu extremists blamed on Muslims, although the cause of the blaze still remains unclear.
The left-leaning news magazine Tehelka reported late Thursday that their reporter, using hidden cameras, had spoken to some of the main rioters. The men told the reporter that Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi, had encouraged them to massacre Muslims and prevented police from stopping the killings.
Modi, who remains the state's chief minister - a post equivalent to a U.S. governor - is a leading member of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.