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India’s foreign ministry on Thursday dismissed a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi that questioned his leadership during the deadly 2002 Gujarat riots as “propaganda”.

Modi was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat when it was gripped by communal riots that left more than 1,000 people dead – most of them Muslims. The violence erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59.

The British inquiry report showcased in the documentary refers to the events as a “systematic campaign of violence” which has “all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing”, and placed direct responsibility on Modi.

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