Indian Opposition Leader Will Not Face Charges over Riots

But does face a surveillance-related investigation


The fiery leader of India's leading opposition party, a man labeled a mass murderer by some and a potential savior by others, won a victory Thursday in one of the many controversies dogging him as he seeks to become India's next prime minister, but faced a setback in another.

An Indian court rejected a petition seeking the prosecution of opposition leader, Narendra Modi, head of the Bharatiya Janata Party, for his role in riots in his home state, Gujarat, in 2002 that killed more than 1,000 people, largely Muslims.

But the government ordered a formal investigation into allegations that Mr. Modi's top lieutenant, using state intelligence and security officers, oversaw wide-ranging surveillance of an Indian woman on behalf of Mr. Modi.