|NRIs to thwart Modi visa attempt|
|Date: 4 Jul 2008|
Source: Asian Age
July 3: Over 25 NRI organisations, under the umbrella of the coalition against genocide, have appealed to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to thwart Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's attempt to obtain a US visa.
A Chalo Gujarat Conference is going to be held in August in New Jersey and is expected to be attended by over 50,000 Gujaratis. The conference organisers, who are Mr Modi's supporters, want the Gujarat chief minister to be present. Since last two years, Mr Modi has been addressing the Diaspora through video conferencing. Mr Modi was denied a visa in 2005, following representations by various national and international human rights organisations who pointed out his role in Gujarat riots and urged the US government to not allow him to enter the country.
In a fresh appeal on Wednesday, 25 organisations under the aegis of "Coalition Against Genocide", they drew the attention of Ms Rice that Mr Modi was once again planning to apply for visa.
The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organisations associated with Indian-Americans that have come together in response to the Gujarat genocide to demand justice and accountability. "We urge the state department not to allow Mr Modi to enter the country (US) under any conditions, as the circumstances under which he was denied a visa in 2005 remain largely unchanged, and the minority communities in his state continue to face systematic human rights violations," they said, adding US should not unwittingly become the platform for these unrepentant yet ascendant forces in India to exploit the opportunity to rally the support base among Indian Diaspora communities and raise international legitimacy and standing.
"It would be dangerous at this juncture of Indian political process to give Mr Modi that long denied and much coveted window," they added.
The coalition pointed out that Mr Modi was responsible for the deaths of over 2,000 Muslims and the displacement of 200,000 more.