27 US lawmakers demand entry ban on Modi

August 10th, 2008 - 10:23 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi
By Arun Kumar
Washington, Aug 10 (IANS) A group of Indian-American organisations has claimed the support of 27 more US lawmakers for its demand to deny an entry visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the 2002 riots. The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) said Saturday 27 lawmakers led by Republican Congressman Joseph Pitts have urged the State Department to once again reaffirm its decision to continue its ban on Modi’s entry into the US.

In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the lawmakers urged the US government to condemn Modi’s actions and policies by “denying him the right to enter our country” to attend the Aug 29-31 World Gujarati Conference in New Jersey.

They alleged “serious human rights violations, persecution of minorities and total disregard of religious freedom practiced in direct contravention of International Human Rights norms and treaties by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government in Gujarat.

Some 100,000 victims of genocide were unable to return to their homes with continuous attempts to obstruct a legitimate and fair trial to bring the perpetrators of the 2002 communal genocide to justice.

“Modi and his administration closed the files on over 2,000 police cases where the victims filed reports of rapes, killings and destruction of their property,” the lawmakers wrote to Rice, according to CAG.

Earlier two Democratic members of the House, Betty McCollum and Joe Sestak and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) had urged similar action against Modi.

CAG includes a number of organizations and individuals in the US and Canada that have come together in response to Gujarat riots to demand accountability and justice CAG recalled that last year, in an exposé by the investigative magazine Tehelka, the Gujarat state prosecutor appointed by Modi was captured on video confessing to protecting the perpetrators of the 2002 violence.

One of the accused involved in the killings, detailed the favour from Modi’s office to have several court judges transferred to protect him from any convictions, CAG said.

The lawmakers’ letter also drew attention to the State Department Report on the Gujarat Government’s promotion of Nazi Ideology “The role of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his government in promoting attitudes of racial supremacy, racial hatred and the legacy of Nazism through his government’s support of school textbooks in which Nazism is condoned.”

For example, in a high school social studies textbook, the “charismatic personality” of “Hitler the Supremo” and the” achievements” of Nazism are described at length, CAG claimed.

The textbook does not even acknowledge Nazi extermination policies or concentration camps except for a passing reference to a policy of opposition towards the Jewish people and (advocacy for) the supremacy of the German race, it alleged.

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