Thursday, February 27, 2014

UK members of Parliament agree to an Early Day Motion to the House of Commons "to bring Modi to justice"

By Our Representative
The Awaaz Network and Monitoring Group of the United Kingdom organized a controversial meeting at UK Parliament urging parliamentarians to “bring Modi to justice.” A statement issued following the meeting said, among those who agreed with this view "included" members of Parliament John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) and Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North). This apart, the meeting received messages from British barrister and human rights campaigner and Mike Wood, MP for Balley.
The statement quoted Mike Wood in the message as saying, “I extend my whole-hearted support for prosecuting Modi not least for the communal violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002 which claimed so many innocent lives including that of my constituents and their driver. He should remain banned from this country irrespective of the results of the upcoming Indian elections until he has been brought to account for his actions in fermenting racial and religious violence and bigotry”.
“An Early Day Motion to the House of Commons was announced, and a delegation of MPs to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asking that there should be no engagement with him until he has been held legally accountable for his role in the violence. The meeting also heard that action is underway for an international tribunal on genocide in Gujarat”, the statement read.
The Monitoring Group message said, “Two of Yusuf Dawood’s brothers, on holiday in India twelve years ago, were brutally killed during horrific communal violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. Over 1,500 died (including three British nationals), hundreds of women were raped and 200,000 people driven from their homes”, claiming, the speakers were head at a “packed meeting” on February 26, “focusing on the role of Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and prime ministerial candidate for the far-right BJP in India’s forthcoming elections.”
It added, “Messages of support were received from many individuals and organisations including Sir Anish Kapoor, an Indian sculptor who is one of the world’s most eminent artists.” Kapoor wrote, “I am deeply grateful that you are doing this. We are in a moment of great danger and your call to our sense of justice is much needed”.
“There is international consensus that Narendra Modi was responsible for the 2002 genocidal attacks in Gujarat,” wrote AnishKapoor. “India' s long history of cultural and ethnic tolerance is gravely in peril with the rise of this politician whose association with the fascist right cannot any longer be hidden. It is deplorable therefore that Britain continues to dialogue with this man and that British parliamentarians and businessmen shamelessly extend a hand of friendship to him and his political associates.”
At the meeting, the statement said, Suresh Grover of the Monitoring Group outlined key events during the “orgy of violence” in 2002, even as launching an “extensively research book ‘Narendra Modi exposed: challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate’ by Prof Chetan Bhatt, Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics.
“Bhatt spoke of Modi’s links with the Hindutva movement, which uses the guise of religion for its extremist brand of politics, and its ‘deliberate attempt to suppress freedom of speech’ in this country”, the statement said, regretting, “Virendra Sharma (MP for Ealing Southall) had originally agreed to host the meeting but withdrew after coming under pressure from supporters of Modi, who tried to force the event to be cancelled. A few turned up to disrupt the meeting, but did not succeed in silencing discussion.”
The statement further said, “Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters, spoke on this movement’s disturbing attitude to and treatment of women, including sexual violence ‘unprecedented in nature’ in 2002. Prof Gautam Appa, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, exposed the inaccuracy of claims often made by BJP supporters that the Supreme Court has cleared Modi of responsibility and that Gujarat is a model of good governance and prosperity.”

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