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UNHRC complaint may embarrass Modi

August 11, 2014 14:14 IST

UNHRC complaint may embarrass Modi

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Vicky Nanjappa

Vicky Nanjappa reports on the move to lodge a complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Organisations in the United States -- that have been campaigning against granting a US visa to Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- plan to lodge a complaint against him at the United Nations Human Rights Council with regard to his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The UNHRC, which is based in Geneva, is 'responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them,' its Web sites states.

Prime Minister Modi will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York in in late September before traveling to Washington, DC to meet with United States President Barack Obama on September 30.

Indian intelligence officials told this correspondent that attempts are being made to embarrass Modi by focusing attention on his alleged role in the Gujarat riots, which claimed over 2,000 lives.

The complaint will likely claim that Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat, did not uphold human rights, particularly of those belonging to the minority community.

"The focus will largely be on the Gujarat riots. But to make it look fair, there will be testimony pertaining to the Christian community as well," the intelligence officials told this correspondent, on condition that they would not be identified by name in this report.

A complaint of this nature would be widely discussed and show the Modi government in poor light,the officials felt.

These intelligence officials also claim that Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence plans to embarrass Modi during his US visit.

The fact that the Modi government reached out to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's civilian government has not gone down well with the ISI, these intelligence officials say, claiming that the ISI convened a meeting of its 'black ops' specialists last week to discuss ways in which the Indian leader could be embarrassed on his US visit.

It is possible that demonstrations will be held against Modi near the UN when he speaks to the general assembly.

This is not uncommon. Whenever then prime minister Manmohan Singh spoke at the UN, Sikh demonstrators held protests near the UN, drawing attention to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India on their placards.

The intelligence officials also feel that some Indian-American community groups may file cases in US courts against politicians in India who are part of the Modi government, citing violations of human rights.

This again is not uncommon. Sikhs For Justice, a New York-based group, filed cases against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh in US courts, citing their alleged role in the 1984 riots and human riots violations in Punjab in the early 1990s. SFJ has also campaigned against Modi's visit to the US.


Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Photographs: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images