Thursday, April 16, 2015

2002 Gujarat 'massacre': Canadian Court issues summons for Prime Minister Modi; attorney general blocks it

By Our Representative
A Canadian Court reportedly issued summons to visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi under Section 269.1 of the Canadian Criminal Code following a law suit filed under the aegis of the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which has offices in New York and Toronto which charged Modi for “torture and genocide in connection with the horrific anti-Muslim pogroms of 2002 in Gujarat”.
The summons were however “immediately blocked” by the Attorney General, Canada, apparently to avoid embarrassment to the Canadian government at a time when Modi was in that country on his three day visit.
The lawsuit was filed by two survivors of the Gujarat 2002 pogroms under the aegis of a group known as Sikhs For Justice, and had sought prosecution of Modi for acts of “human rights violations and assaults on religious freedom during the horrific massacres of 2002”, a statement by the American Justice Center (AJC), New York, and distributed by human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi, said.
The AJC statement said, “After a seven-hour pre-enquete hearing to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to issue process, the Justice of the Peace decided that process be issued. In other words, a court of law has finally recognized there is sufficient evidence of Modi's involvement in the massacre of Muslims in 2002, for Modi to be brought to trial.”
During the 2002 Gujarat riots, more than 1,000 persons, most of them Muslims, were killed, and 1.5 lakh people, again mainly Muslims, were displaced. During the riots, which continued for three months, rampaging mobs raped women, killed children, burnt houses, shops and other establishments.
Similar cases against Modi in US and Australia earlier failed in the court of law. In January, a US federal court in New York dismissed the lawsuit against Modi, saying he enjoys immunity as the sitting head of a foreign government.
AJC, however, claimed that the case in Canada “widens the legal troubles” for Modi. AJC said, “Representing SFJ, Toronto-based veteran constitutional and human rights lawyer Marlys Edwardh and her associate Louis Century called on Justice Minister Peter MacKay to charge Modi for torture and genocide in connection with the horrific anti-Muslim pogroms of 2002 in Gujarat, during his tenure as Chief Minister.”
"The summons issued by the Ontario Court of Justice, albeit blocked by the Attorney General, is a recognition of the voluminous evidence available to initiate prosecution of Modi, " said AJC President Joseph Whittington, Jr. "Had the summons been allowed to be served, we strongly believe the case would have ultimately served justice to those who have been denied for the pogroms of 2002."

No comments: