Narendra Modi must not get visa over Gujarat riots: 25 US Congressmen to Hillary Clinton
- Third phase of LS polls ends: High turnout in 91 seats; Chandigarh tops with 74 per cent
- BJP sacks Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra; Ansari not to contest against Modi
- #WhyiVoted: Let's hear it from India
- First time, Narendra Modi slams Mamata Banerjee, calls her change ânakliâ
- Mulayam questions death penalty for rape, says 'boys make mistakes'
"As Mr Modi 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 and the tandem prosecution that have still to be finished to bring the perpetrators to justice," as many as 25 members of the US House of Representatives wrote in a letter to Clinton.
Dated November 29, the letter addressed to Clinton was released to the press yesterday, by Republican Congressman Joe Pitts and Frank Wolf on the eve of their joint press conference at the Capitol Hill with family of the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"India is a thriving democracy, and one that is aspiring to a high standard of leadership and progress. It is disturbing that certain parties in India are considering elevating Modi, despite his tie to these attacks. Allowing him to enter the United States will only serve to abdicate his responsibility for the 2002 human rights abuses," the Congressmen said.
Among other prominent lawmakers who signed the letter include John Conyers, Trent Franks, James Moran, Michael Honda, Bill Pascrell, Barbara Lee, Edward Markey, Jim Jordan, Dan Burton, Michael Capuano and Dough Lamborn.
Observing that the Bush Administration "rightly denied" Modi a visa to enter the United States, the lawmakers said as he is currently seeking support for a possible bid for prime ministership, including meetings with leaders of foreign nations, "we expect" that he may again request entry into the United States.
"We respectfully request that the US government deny Mr Modi entry due to numerous reports of his involvement in horrific human rights violations in India," the lawmakers said.
"As you may know, Mr Modi served as the chief minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots that ultimately resulted in the rape of countless women and children, the destruction of homes and businesses and the loss of 2,000 lives," the Congressmen alleged.
"Non-governmental organizations have alleged that the state government in Gujarat, led by Chief Minister Modi, provided leadership and material support to the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. After their investigation of violence, Human Rights Watch stated that the 'attacks against Muslims (and other religious minorities) in Gujarat have been actively supported by state BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government officials and by the police'," the letter alleged.
Noting that in the past, the State Department has denied Modi a visa under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act for his complicity in the riots, the lawmakers said the State Department has stated that the Gujarat government has not adequately pursued justice of the victims of the 2002 violence.
- Srinath wins title but Deshpande steals show
- Ambala Lok Sabha constituency: 65.15 pc vote in Panchkula district
- ‘No smoking’ signages to dot polling booths
- City breaks electoral record as 74 pc turn out to vote
- BJP campaign in Varanasi starts April 12 — without Modi
- Cong spending Rs 50 cr on each constituency: Kumaraswamy