New York: A US court here has set a pre-trial hearing in April in the lawsuit filed by a Sikh rights group asking that Indian right wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) be designated as a "foreign terrorist organisation" for alleged violent acts against religious minorities in India.
US District Judge Laura Swain of the Southern District of New York set the pre-trial hearing for April 24 when issues related to the status of the subject application, subject matter jurisdiction, disputed and undisputed facts and other legalities will be taken up.
The lawsuit filed by 'Sikhs For Justice' (SFJ) asks the court to designate RSS as terror group "for believing in and practicing a fascist ideology and for running a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a 'Hindu' nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity."
In the complaint, the rights group accuses RSS of targeting religious minorities in India, including instigating the June 1984 attack against the Sikh shrine the Golden Temple, the 1992 demolition of the historical Babri Mosque as well as the 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat.
SFJ said RSS, the ideological mentor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP, is making headlines for its campaign "Home Coming" to convert Christians and Muslims to Hindus.
SFJ had commended President Barack Obama for his remarks in a town-hall style meeting with students and activists during his visit to New Delhi last month that India will succeed as long as it is "not splintered along the lines of religious faith."