Deny visa to Modi: US lawmakers to Clinton
As many as 25 members of the US House of Representatives shot a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and asked her to continue denying visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, reports said on Tuesday.
The American lawmakers said the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader's government did not pursue justice for the 2002 Gujarat riots victims adequately.
"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," read the letter.
The lawmakers said: "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."
Republican Congressman Joe Pitts and Frank Wolf released the letter, which is dated Nov 29, to the press on Monday.
The letter was signed by lawmakers like Trent Franks, Edward Markey, Dan Burton, Jim Jordan, Michael Capuano, Dough Lamborn and John Conyers.
The BJP, meanwhile, said the matter was not 'important'.
BJP leader Balbir Punj told media: "The visa issue is not an important one. We do not need any endorsement from the US."
"All we need is blessings of the people of Gujarat," he said.
The infamous Gujarat riots of 2002 left hundreds of Muslims dead, injured and tortured and came as a blot in the BJP rule in the state.
The riots followed an incident of train burning in Godhra in which Hindus returning from Ayodhya were killed by a Muslim mob.
Around 1,000 supporters of prime accused Maulvi Umarjihad attacked the coach at the Godhra station and torched it killing 59 people and injuring many.