US brings resolution on Gujarat religious freedom
Washington: A Congressional resolution urging
Gujarat government to restore religious freedom in the state
has been introduced in the US House of Representatives on the
occasion of the 10th anniversary of communal riots.
The non-binding resolution (H Res 569) "recognising the
10th anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat"
was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman
Keith Ellison, early this week.
Unlike most of such resolutions, it has no co-sponsors.
The resolution has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs
Committee for necessary action.
Recognising the suffering of the people affected by the
2002 violence in Gujarat, including those who lost their lives
in the Godhra train fire; the resolution shares the opinion of
the US Department of State that the Gujarat government has not
adequately pursued justice for the victims of the 2002
Expressing concern over reports from journalists and
human rights groups about alleged complicity of Gujarat Chief
Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 violence; the resolution
commends the US Government for denying a visa to Modi in 2005
on the grounds of a religious freedom violation under the
International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), in a statement
welcomed the introduction of the Congressional resolution.
"Congressman Ellison's resolution is an important effort
to memorialise all those who were killed in the horrific
sectarian violence of Gujarat in 2002," said Shaheen Khateeb,
"It is an opportunity to renew our pledge to continue the
struggle for justice and reparation for the victims and to
combat the discrimination and the economic hardships that
plague minorities in Gujarat," he added.
In a statement, IAMC urged Indian American community to
call upon their local Congressional representatives and urge
them to become a co-sponsor of the House Resolution.