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UK: Investigative Report by Avaaz Network and Monitoring Group Exposes Narendra Modi

6 April 2014

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Awaaz Network and ’The Monitoring Group have jointly published the report ’Narenda Modi Exposed: challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate’. A meeting in London at the British Parliament in February 2014 re the communal violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 explained the issues raised in the above report. A press release ’Bring Modi to justice’ is also published here along with the report

Narenda Modi Exposed : challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate
ISBN 978-0-9576974-2-3
Extent: 60pp
Release Date: 27 Feb 2014
Published jointly by The Monitoring Group and the Awaaz network

http://awaaz-uk.org/?p=80

For the immediate attention of Editors

News Release: 27 February 2014

Bring Modi to justice, urges meeting hosted at UK Parliament

Two of Yusuf Dawood’s close relatives, on holiday in India twelve years ago, were brutally killed during horrific communal violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. Over 1,500 died (including three British nationals), hundreds of women were raped and 200,000 people driven from their homes. He was among the speakers at a meeting hosted by John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington, and other MPs at the UK’s Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 26 February 2014, focusing on the role of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat and prime ministerial candidate for the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s forthcoming elections. Messages of support were received from Sir Anish Kapoor, CBE, an Indian sculptor who is one of the world’s most eminent artists, and Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC, a distinguished British barrister and human rights campaigner.

At the meeting Suresh Grover of the Monitoring Group outlined key events during the ‘orgy of violence’ in 2002 and ‘Narendra Modi exposed: challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate’, an extensively researched report, was launched, Professor Chetan Bhatt, Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics, spoke of Modi’s links with the ‘Hindutva’ movement, which uses the guise of religion for its extremist brand of politics, and its ‘deliberate attempt to suppress freedom of speech’ in this country. Virendra Sharma (MP for Ealing Southall) had originally agreed to host the meeting but withdrew after coming under pressure from supporters of Modi, who tried in vain to force the event to be cancelled. A few then turned up, some of whom tried to disrupt the meeting, but did not succeed in silencing discussion.

Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters, spoke on this movement’s disturbing attitude to and treatment of women, including sexual violence ‘unprecedented in nature’ in 2002. Professor Gautam Appa, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, exposed the inaccuracy of claims often made by BJP supporters that the Supreme Court has cleared Modi of responsibility and that Gujarat is a model of good governance and prosperity.

‘There is international consensus that Narendra Modi was responsible for the 2002 genocidal attacks in Gujarat,’ wrote Anish Kapoor. ‘India’ s long history of cultural and ethnic tolerance is gravely in peril with the rise of this politician whose association with the fascist right cannot any longer be hidden. It is deplorable therefore that Britain continues to dialogue with this man and that British parliamentarians and businessmen shamelessly extend a hand of friendship to him and his political associates.’ Helena Kennedy warned that ‘Sectarianism is a scourge in our modern world and any politician or political party inciting, encouraging or creating a supportive landscape for such hostilities should be roundly condemned. Modi is a serious danger to peace in India and beyond. I strongly support the campaign to expose the threat he and his supporters present.’

An Early Day Motion to the House of Commons was announced, and a delegation of MPs to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asking that there should be no engagement with him until he has been held legally accountable for his role in the violence. The meeting also heard that action is underway for an international tribunal on genocide in Gujarat.

Imran Dawood, who was with his uncles when they were killed but survived despite his own injuries, was also present at the meeting. They are deeply missed, Yusuf Dawood explained: ‘Sometimes you sleep, you dream, and they’re there, and then you wake up.’ The family are pursuing a civil case against Modi. ‘We have no hatred in our hearts of anybody. We are Gujaratis and love Gujarat and its culture’ he said. However he pointed out that ‘you can’t just brush things under the carpet if you’re going to progress.’

Mike Wood, MP for Batley, where they lived, was one of those who sent a message of support.

The Avaaz Network and Monitoring Group, who organised the meeting, can be contacted on sgrover at tmg-uk.org.

ENDS

For further information or to obtain the report, please contact Suresh Grover on 07816 301706 or sgrover[at]tmg-uk.org

[The above release and information about the report was covered in three Indian News papers, see:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/controversy-erupts-in-britain-s-parliament-complex-over-modi-114022701214_1.html

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/388830/controversy-erupts-britains-parliament-complex.html

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/rights-groups-urge-uk-not-to-engage-with-modi/article5732978.ece.