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POLITICS: U.S. Revokes Visa of Indian Official For Allegedly Violating Religious Freedom

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 08:34 AM
Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of India's, Gujarat State, was scheduled to visit the U.S.A. this weekend, but the U.S. Embassy has denied his request for a diplomatic visa and also revoked his tourist/business visa. The U.S. cited Modi's government and political party inability and unwillingness to curb and properly prosecute those involved the 2002 religious riots. The riots had started when a group of 60 Hindus were burned to death, what followed was a major religious clash between Hindus and Muslims, with the results of over 2000 people dead, mostly Muslims.
The spokesman said a U.S. law makes any foreign government official responsible for "severe violations of religious freedom" ineligible for a visa.

Modi called the U.S. decision "an insult to India and its constitution."

"The United States can't impose its laws on other countries. In the same way, India should deny visas to U.S. officials as a protest against Washington's policies in Iraq," Modi said.

Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party said India should lodge a protest with the United States.

External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh said India will take up the visa issue with the U. S. government, Press Trust of India news agency said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Mr. Modi is out of luck, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that the United States has denied visas to corrupt politicians from other countries. But he is partially right in that other countries do not treat our diplomats in the same respect. Many could make cases against several foreign diplomats who have violated human rights but yet visit the US. I doubt that this will escalate any further, neither India or U.S. are ready for increased tensions over an issue like this.

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 10:08 AM
These are the riots that center around the so called 'Ram's Temple' site no? Or am I mistaken?

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 10:17 AM
yes nygdan I believe they are one in the same, one thing happened and of course it spread, as riots do, the aftermath however was very partial to the Hindu side, most of the Hindus involved were acquitted and I believe that is what the US and human rights groups are citing as Modi's violations.

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 12:22 PM
So, in a sense, this all comes from agitation on the part of the recently nationalist party? Intersting times. Perhaps the socialists in charge now will be able to stop-down the hinud-muslim agression, at least there won't be as much comming from the highest government offices themselves.

Hopefully if that stops then those roving paramilitary armies can be put down too.

posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 03:26 PM
I didn't think they would take it this far, but extremists are "extremists".
Hindu Extremists Set Fire To Pepsi Warehouse In Western India To Protest U.S. Denial Of Visa To Top State Official

Hindu nationalists set fire to a PepsiCo warehouse in western India on Saturday to protest the U.S. denial of a visa for a top state official due to his role in religious riots in 2002.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the U.S. government to urgently reconsider its decision.

The State Department said Friday it had denied a diplomatic visa to the Hindu nationalist chief minister of Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, and revoked his existing tourist/business visa under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act that bars people responsible for violations of religious freedom from getting a visa.

Nearly 150 activists barged into the warehouse of U.S.-based PepsiCo in the western city of Surat, smashed bottles and set fire to the place, said Dharmesh Joshi, a witness. Police confirmed the attack.

The warehouse was partially burned. The demonstrators were from the Bajrang Dal, a group affiliated with Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which governs Gujarat state.

The State Department had no immediate comment, spokesman Noel Clay said Saturday in Washington.
The protesters also ransacked a nearby PepsiCo office and demonstrated outside the American consulate in Bombay. PepsiCo representatives could not be reached for comment.

Some carried placards reading: "Down with the United States," "Boycott the U.S. goods and the Americans."

The attacks came despite a tightening of security in western India where Hindu nationalists have a strong presence, to prevent retaliation to the U.S. decision.

posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 06:11 PM
this is bigger than I thought it would become
Indian-Americans Criticize U.S. Embassy's Decision to Reject Official's Visa Application

Indian-American leaders Saturday criticized the U.S. government's decision to deny a visa to a high-ranking Indian official, calling it an insult to the world's largest democracy.

"Let me say this as a U.S. citizen ... my president is promoting democracy all over the world, and now I'm confused because my president has stopped the democratically elected leader (Modi) from coming to my country," said Niku Trivedi, an organizer of the Association of Indian-Americans of North America.

Indian-American leaders, however, said at a gathering Saturday in North Brunswick that groups critical of Modi have a right to protest him but not to prevent him from speaking in the United States.

"They have their freedom of speech, but he had a right to come to the United States. The dismissal of his visa was a great mistake," said Seema M. Singh, president of the New Jersey Asian-Indian Chamber of Commerce.

posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 06:23 PM
I though that the reason they damage the Pepsi factory was because it was taken the only water source in the area and was polluting the area.

I am not sure if this is right I may be mistaken.

But about the thread I guess US has the right to issue visas to anybody they want or take away them also.

I am just neutral on this one.

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