Release against Modi meeting 260214
Press Release: 21 February 2014
UK Parliament to host a meeting on Narendra Modi, BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate in the Upcoming Indian Elections.
On Wednesday 26 February 2014, Virendra Sharma (MP for Ealing Southall) will host a meeting on Narinder Modi and the rise of Hindu Fascism and launch an extensively researched report titled Narendra Modi exposed: challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. (The report can be obtained by contacting the number below).
Modi is the Chief Minister of Gujarat and a leading figure in the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party. Controversy surrounds him, largely because of his role in communal violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, when over 1500 died (including three British nationals), hundreds of women were raped and 200,000 people driven from their homes. Human Rights watch described the 2002 Gujarat events as:‘what happened in Gujarat was not a spontaneous uprising, it was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims. The attacks were planned in advance and organized with extensive participation of the police and state government officials.’ Smita Narula, senior South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, May 2002.
A number of MPs, lawyers, academics and human rights activists will address the meeting. They include: Yusuf Dawood from West Yorkshire, two of whose brothers were among the victims and whose family has campaigned for justice. Suresh Grover of the Monitoring Group will describe key events of 2002. Professor Chetan Bhatt, Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics, will describe Modi’s links with the ‘Hindutva’ movement, which uses the guise of religion for its extremist brand of politics. Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters, will speak on its disturbing links with violence against and control of women. Professor Gautam Appa, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, will expose the inaccuracy of claims often made by BJP supporters that the Supreme Court has cleared Modi of responsibility for the Gujarat pogrom and that the state is a model of good governance and prosperity.
An Early Day Motion to the House of Commons will be announced, along with a delegation of MPs to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asking that there should be no engagement with him until he has answered to a court of law or judicial inquiry for his role in the violence. The meeting will also call for an international tribunal, involving eminent jurists, on genocide in Gujarat.