HR and religious groups to protest Modi’s visit to US

Washington, USA -- A coalition of human rights and religious organisations is planning demonstrations in New York and Florida against Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to the United States.

Modi, characterised as “the architect of ethnic cleansing and rape” has been invited by an Indian group of hotel owners in the US as a keynote speaker at their two-day annual convention beginning March 24. CAG will also push for cancellation of Modi’s visa and meet Congressmen in this regard.

Indian American Council chief Dr Sheik Ubaid said the coalition was in contact with several Indian and Pakistan groups who could exert influence on Congress.

“Modi is a known extremist with publicly stated admiration for Hitler. He must be banned from entering the US,” Dr Ubaid told Daily Times.

A petition by over one hundred academics and peace activists has demanded Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice cancel Modi’s trip. “Modi has been following extremism and targeting Muslims since he took office as Gujarat chief minister on October 7, 2001,” the petition said.

“Under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), the US can deny visas to those involved in religious persecution,” said Joseph K Grieboski, president of the International Institute on Religion and Public Policy, who played a key role in preparing the petition. CAG is also pressing popular TV host Chris Matthews to cancel his appearance at the convention.

The group will hold a demonstration at Madison Square Garden on March 20 and at Fort Lauderdale in Florida on March 20 in front of the Broward County Convention Hall where Modi will deliver his speech.