|Date: 18 Mar 2005|
A controversial Indian right-wing politician has been denied a visa to visit the US.
Narendra Modi is the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, which was hit by religious riots in 2002.
More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in what was seen as some of the worst religious violence in India in decades.
Rights groups blamed Mr Modi's government for doing little to prevent the violence.
A spokesman for the US embassy in Delhi told the BBC that Mr Modi had applied for a diplomatic visa.
But, he added, the request has been turned down because the purpose of his visit to the US did not qualify him for such a visa.
Earlier this week, two US congressmen introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives criticising Mr Modi's conduct during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Congressmen John Conyers and Joe Pitts accused Mr Modi of carrying out religious persecution against Muslims, Christians and indigenous tribals.
"Our government should speak with one voice in condemning these policies and the actions of the Modi administration that has led to the death, torture and imprisonment of thousands in Gujarat," Mr Pitts said.
The Gujarat chief minister, who belongs to the Hindu nationalist BJP, was due to speak at several events organised by the Indian community in the US.
His actions during the riots came under severe criticism from human rights groups and independent observers, but he continued to remain in office and even won re-election later that year.
Three years after the violence, no one has been brought to justice.