In 2005, the U.S. government denied a visa to Mr. Modi on the grounds of religious freedom violation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
A resolution has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives expressing solidarity with the Obama administration's view that the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat “has not adequately pursued justice for the victims of the 2002 violence” and that they remained “concerned by reports from journalists and human rights groups about the complicity of ... [Mr.] Modi in the [pogrom].”
House Resolution 569, “Recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat,” was sponsored by Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, and it called on the Gujarat government to heed the recommendations of the State Department to “restore religious freedom for all citizens in Gujarat.”
This is not the first instance where the U.S. government has marked its concern surrounding the role of the Gujarat government in the riots. In 2005, it denied a visa to Mr. Modi on the grounds of religious freedom violation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
This week, the House noted that in 2002, the violence directed against Muslims by Hindu mobs led to an estimated 2,000 dead and 1,00,000 displaced into refugee camps, and commended the National Human Rights Commission and the Indian Supreme Court, whose actions led to some convictions in Gujarat riots cases and also the arrest of a few high-level leaders in the Modi administration.
Recounting some of the details of the mob attacks, the resolution quoted a 2002 Human Rights Watch report entitled, “We Have No Orders to Save You,” in particular a section that noted that between February 28 and March 2, 2002 “the attackers descended with militia-like precision on Ahmedabad by the thousands.”
The report further described the unfolding of the targeted attacks, saying, “Chanting slogans of incitement to kill...they were guided by computer printouts listing the addresses of Muslim families and their properties...and embarked on a murderous rampage confident that the police was with them.”
Alleging that portions of the Gujarati language press had printed fabricated stories and statements openly calling on Hindus to avenge the Godhra attacks, the text of the resolution further noted that “Where justice has been delivered in Gujarat, it has been in spite of the State government, not because of it.”
This story has been edited to correct an error. The resolution has been introduced, not passed, as earlier stated.