The controversy over the letters Indian MPs wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama, urging him to deny Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a visa, has taken a new turn, with a forensic document examiner in California certifying that their signatures are “original and authentic” and not a cut-and-paste job as alleged.

“Using accepted principles and methods of forensic examination, it is my opinion that the Q1-Q3 document (three pages of the Rajya Sabha members’ letter) was created in a single event, and the signatures found upon it are original/authentic wet ink signatures,” said a report of a forensic examination.

A similar finding was made in respect of the letter from Lok Sabha members. The forensic examination of the handwritings on the two letters, dated November 26 and December 5 last year, was conducted by Nanette M Barto. The letters were re-faxed to the White House on July 21.

The examination was made at the request of Coalition Against Genocide after some parliamentarians, notably CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, M.P. Achutan of the CPI and K.P. Ramalingam of the DMK, denied having signed the letter. Coalition Against Genocide, comprising 40 Indian American organisations, has been campaigning against the grant of a U.S. visa to Mr. Modi.

Asked for his reaction to the forensic examination report, Mr. Achutan maintained that he did not remember having signed a memorandum like this. All that he remembered was that he had signed a representation to protest the detention of Muslim youths in different parts of India on flimsy grounds.

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