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Indian court drops charges against Modi aide

Indian court drops charges against ruling party leader of ordering extra-judicial killings

Indian court drops charges against Modi aide

NEW DELHI (AP) -- A special court has dropped criminal charges against the leader of India's ruling party, who was accused of ordering extra-judicial killings by police nearly a decade ago.

The court under India's Central Bureau of Investigation ruled Tuesday that there was little evidence that Amit Shah, president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, directed police to kill a small-time criminal and his wife in 2005.

Shah is a close confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was junior home minister in Gujarat state before being jailed for three months in 2010 on charges of ordering the killings. Shah, who denied the accusations, was then released on bail.

A sharp political strategist, Shah is widely credited for his party's spectacular electoral victory in national elections in May.