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Americans join as Kashmiris, Sikhs hold protest against Modi
Tuesday September 30, 2014 10:44 PM, Agencies

A number of Americans and Sikh protesters gathered and chanted slogans against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday as the Kashmiri American Council staged a sit-in outside the White House when he arrived to attend a private dinner hosted by US President Obama.

Protest Modi

Police had to intervene when some supporters of Modi and protesters came face to face, according to media reports.

Earlier, a broad coalition of organisations and individuals under the umbrella Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA) greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi with protests while he was attending a gathering inside the Madison Square garden on Sunday afternoon.

The demonstrators carrying posters and banners were shouting slogans against Modi. Slogans on placards, banners and posters read 'Modi India's Prime Murderer', 'No More Hate, No More Killing', Wanted Narendra Modi – For Crime against Humanity.

On September 28 a broad coalition of organisations that came under the umbrella Alliance for Justice and Accountability has mass demonstration outside the Madison Square Garden to register their protest against Narendra Modi, while accusing him of being in complicity for the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat when Modi was Chief Minister of the State.

"We are holding a 'Citizens Court' in Washington DC on September 30 in front of the White House. Our purpose of doing it at the precise location and time of the Obama-Modi summit is to remind the world and the American public that just because Modi had to be let into the country as head of a foreign government, the plight of religious minorities in India has not improved, actually it has worsened", Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, said while talking to Al-Jazeera.

"Modi, his party BJP and associated groups have launched their onslaught on the religious minorities with renewed zeal. Today, religious minorities in India face existential threat. The Citizens Court that will indict Modi on September 30 is the 'voice of the voiceless'", he added.

"We are extremely disappointed that the Obama administration wilfully ignored several years of principled US government policy that denied Mr Modi a visa due to his sordid human rights record. Successive State Department reports identified Modi as a rights violator and cited his role in the 2002 genocide of Muslims in Gujarat", Raja Swamy, 43, Arkansas, said.

"We understand that as the head of government his present visit is facilitated by international protocols. We also recognise that the US approach to policy on the human rights front is invariably subordinated to the perceived economic benefits to US corporations.

"Last year we supported efforts in the US Congress to place human rights at the centre of the US-India strategic dialogue in order to address this crass and unprincipled practice of ignoring human rights in favour of business…", he said.

"We felt a blow when he was elected. We don't have anything against the BJP when [former Prime Minister Atal Bihari] Vajpayee was there, the philosophy was different…", Kaleem Kawaja is a member of Coalition Against Genocide, said.

"It is for Prime Minister Modi to prove everyone wrong. He has an opportunity now, although he has not demonstrated so far. He should get rid of people such as Amit Shah [a close aide of Modi] and Hindu far-right groups. He should be a Vajpayee. He can still be a Hindu nationalist but be a gentle face of Hindu nationalism not an extremist face", he added.

"He has an opportunity to change himself. He thinks for the good of India and if he frees himself from the influence of hardliners then he can do something good. We haven't totally lost hope in him", he said.

Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a human rights group, said as US President Barack Obama rolls out the red carpet for Modi on September 30, a Citizens' Court in Lafayette Park, immediately outside the front end of the White House, would hold indictment proceedings against the Indian Prime Minister that would be telecast live throughout the US.

A news reported by The Hindu says a copy of the "charge sheet" and notice of indictment proceedings for the Citizens' Court was said to have been recently served on Narendra Modi through the Indian Embassy using a summons delivery service, whose officer signed an affidavit that he delivered a copy of the documents to a named Embassy official at the Embassy premises near Dupont Circle and informed that person of the contents.

The "charge sheet" includes six counts against Modi under identified statutes of U.S. law, SFJ said.

While the proceedings may not have any legal ramifications for Modi they come at an awkward time, when he will have his first ever meeting with Obama, whose administration held firm to a visa-ban against Modi issued in 2005 for his alleged role in the 2002 Muslim pogrom.

Permission to conduct the Citizens' Court has reportedly been granted to the SFJ by the National Parks Servic

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