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No religious distinction: Modi
H S Rao in London | August 19, 2003 13:54 IST
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi says he has never made any distinction between Hindus and Muslims in his state.
"I have never used terminology like minority or majority but only 'abhayam' (protection) to all," Modi said on Monday night during his four-day visit to the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the charges levelled by several London-based rights groups that he was responsible for the 'massacre of Muslims in Gujarat', he avoided a direct answer, but noted that no one posed such questions to the US after 9/11 or to the Congress government in New Delhi after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
On the report in The Guardian comparing him to Hitler or Pol Pot, Modi said he had not read it and would not like to read it.
He also rejected allegations that some non-governmental organisations had diverted funds raised for earthquake survivors in the state for carrying out anti-Muslim activities.
"As far as the government is concerned, whatever donations given to the government have been fully utilised for rehabilitation of earthquake victims," Modi said.
He explained that rehabilitation work was still going on and the non-government organisations still had a year to utilise funds collected by them.
"As far as my information goes, institutions which are actively involved in Gujarat earthquake rehabilitation must be complimented for their remarkable work. There is not even a single complaint against any organisation," he said.
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Read about: Gujarat Riots | Earthquake hits India