|Date: 18 Mar 2005|
Source: Indian Express
New Delhi, March 18: In a victory of sorts for various NRI groups, United States of America denied a diplomatic visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi, already holding a US tourist and business visa, was also informed that these too have been revoked with immediate effect.
The reason given by the US was “serious violation of religious freedom”.
Various groups there had lobbied long and hard and sometimes with a great deal of animation before US lawmakers, thereby successfully bringing the matter to the forefront of public attention.
These groups had cited the Gujarat riots in 2002 that had happened after the Godhra train tragedy where Muslims were blamed for setting a coach full of Hindu passengers afire. 58 people died in the train. The riots, targeting the Muslim community, stretched on for days with the state authorities virtually paralysed in the face of violence.
At the helm of state affairs then and now, is Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra Modi.
While the judiciary is still hearing the various cases related to the events, no one has been indicted so far.