25 US lawmakers urge Hillary Clinton to continue denying Narendra Modi visa

As Narendra Modi seeks a fresh mandate in Gujarat and also eyes prime ministership, a bipartisan group of 25 US Congressmen has asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to continue denying him visa, claiming he has not adequately pursued justice for victims of the 2002 riots.

"As... justice has yet to be fully realised for the victims of the riots, we ask that you continue to deny Mr Modi a visa," the lawmakers from the US House of Representatives said in a letter to Clinton. Dated November 29, the letter, which comes ahead of the Gujarat polls on December 13 and 17, was released to the press Monday by Republican Congressman Joe Pitts and Frank Wolf on the eve of their press conference with family members of victims of the 2002 riots.

As the Gujarat Chief Minister "continues to pursue a potential run for higher office, we believe a change in policy to his request for a visa will only embolden Modi and his government's efforts to obstruct further investigations...to bring the perpetrators to justice," the Congressmen said.

India is a thriving democracy, and one that is aspiring to a high standard of leadership, they said. "It is disturbing that certain parties in India are considering elevating Modi, despite his tie to these attacks. Allowing him to enter the US will only serve to abdicate his responsibility for the 2002 human rights abuses."

Observing that the Bush Administration "rightly denied" Modi a visa, the lawmakers said as he is currently seeking support for a possible bid for prime ministership, "we expect" he may again request entry into the US.

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