Subscribe via RSS Feed

The Butcher of Gujarat Greeted with Angry Slogans

August 17, 2003 0 Comments

Protesters chasing Modi as he comes out of his car

The Butcher  of Gujarat , Narendra Modi, was greeted with slogans, “Murderer, Murderer”, “Modi is a terrorist, Arrest and jail him”, as he arrived at the Wembley  Conference Hall in London.

As the fascist Chief Minister’s car arrived, he was chased by slogan chanting and banner waiving crowd who had been waiting for him for the last two hours and was escorted in the auditorium by the police.

The picket organized by Council of Indian Muslims – UK, Awaz, South Asia Solidarity Group and various other organizations was attended by members of Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Zoroastrian and Muslim communities.

Taking advantage of a small park in front of the hall, the participants used the occasion to hold a meeting which was addressed by the Maulana Atiqurrehman Sanbhali, a well known alim and former editor of Lucknow based Urdu weekly Nadae-e-Millat, Council of Indian Muslims’ Chairman Munaf Zeena, Indian Muslim Federation’s General Secretary Irfan Mustafa, Awaz’s Convener Suresh Grover and Amrita Wilson of Sauth Asia Solidarity Group.
 
The speakers resolved to haunt Modi wherever he went in the UK.  The CIM, one of the main organizers of the protest, had earlier requested the British Foreign office to refuse entry to Modi.

CIM's Chairman Munaf Zeena Addressing the Meeting outside Wembley Conference

A Sikh Protester Distributing leaflets against Modi

A mother protester with her child at the Protest

 


CIM’S LETTER TO THE

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY

MR JACK STRAW

 

11 August 2003

Rt Honourable Jack Straw MP

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

London SW18 2AH

 

Sir,
 
You happen to be one of those British politicians who not only take a keen interest in Indian affairs but have had the opportunity yourself to witness the wrath of Hindu extremism in 1992 when the Babri Mosque was demolished.
 
Sir, incidentally you happened to be in India only one day before the disgraceful and dastardly act of the burning of the alleged kar sevak in the Sabarmati Express was committed which was used by Modi as a justification for the massacre of more than 2,000 Muslims, mass rapes of hundreds of women, and destruction of properties worth millions of pounds. Modi’s infamous remark that every action has a reaction has been widely reported and condemned by the Indian and world media.
 
In the light of these facts, we hardly need to comment on the background of the Sangh Parivar and its leaders like the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
 
Sir, we have to admit that we were impressed by your knowledge of the Indian scene and your concern at the plight of minorities in India when you gave us a patient hearing at your office on 30th January 2003.
 
However, just to remind ourselves what had happened during those ill-fated days, we produce a quote from BBC’s commentary on the bold report compiled by the British High Commission in New Delhi.
 
A senior British High Commission official in India who reported on these ‘riots’ to the Foreign Office in London wrote: these pogroms ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister remains in power.’ And it, ‘far from being spontaneous, was planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.’” (emphasis added) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1951000/1951471.stm
 
After the leak of this report Modi in an interview with Channel 4, called the British Government a “liar”. We provided a copy of that interview with our representation when we saw you in your office.
 
Sir, we are sure that you are also aware that the Gujarat pogroms were engineered by the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr Narendera Modi. Reports after reports have established that the main culprit of these crimes is none but Mr Modi himself.
 
Sir, we were shocked to see the agitator and the main character behind the demolishing of the Babri Mosque, Mr L. K. Advani being given a red carpet treatment in Britain and before him the charge-sheeted minister Ms Uma Bharti being accorded full diplomatic protocol a few months ago. This treatment has emboldened the overseas friends of the BJP in the UK so much that they have now invited Narendra Modi to London where he is due to address a public meeting on 17 August 2003 at the Wembley Conference Centre.
 
Sir, not only Narendra Modi’s visit poses a great danger to race relations in the UK, it will also be tantamount to endorsing his crime against humanity. It will be a shame to give entry to a man in the UK who has been unashamedly defending the massacre of more than 2000 innocent human beings and mass scale atrocities against Muslims.
 
Sir, Human Right Activists and Human Rights organisations in India have been demanding the trial of Modi as a war criminal. In this background if Britain allows him to come here and enjoy receptions at the cost of Race Relations in this country, it will not only be a shameful day in our history but will also mean decrying the great values of equality of mankind and communal relations the British nation has stood for throughout.
 
The only purpose of Modi’s visit to UK and the US seems nothing but to use emotive issues, as shown in the enclosed news item, raise religious passions, collect money and then use it to terrorise and brutalise minorities in India.
 
Sir, we therefore urge you to refuse visa to Modi and declare him as a persona non grata.
Yours Faithfully
 
Mohamed Munaf Zeena
Chairman

 

 


ADDITIONAL LETTER TO MR STRAW

 

 

13 August 2003

Rt Honourable Jack Straw MP

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

London SW18 2AH

 

Sir,

 

 

While we are still waiting for your reply to our letter dated 11 August 2003, we beg to submit the following additional facts for your consideration:  

 

Narendra Modi has been held responsible for the pogrom in the state of Gujarat, India against the minority Muslim population that happened in February-March, 2003 by no less than forty reports that have been released since then.  Significant among these reports are the ones done by India’s own National Commission of Human Rights, Concerned Citizen’s Tribunal headed by retired judges of the Supreme Court of India, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and a panel of internationally reputed nine national-international women’s rights experts as a part of the International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat.  All these reports are available at www.onlinevolunteers.org for further reference. 

 

United Kingdom is party to the Genocide Convention, 1957 and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998 that places an obligation to prevent and punish international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity.  In addition, there are a number of resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly generally calling upon all states, to bring to justice those responsible for crimes under international law, including genocide and crimes against humanity.  Legal scholars and experts opine that the application of international law as part of the law of the land means that, subject to the overriding effect of statute law, rights and duties flowing from rules of customary international law will be recognized and given effect by English courts without the need for any specific act adopting those rules into English law”.(Oppenheim’s International Law, 9th edition)

 

United Kingdom is thus obligated under international law to ensure that a person against whom there is evidence that they have committed international crimes is subject to tracing, arrest, trial and if found guilty, to punishment, particularly if he is found in UK soilSuch obligation is even more compelling if victims of the crimes are British citizens —  which is the present case where three members of the Dawood family have been killed.

 

We urge the foreign office not to make United Kingdom a safe haven for individuals suspected of committing international crimes and implore that your office refuse entry to Mr. Narendra Modi.  In the event Mr. Modi arrives, we urge that instructions are given to appropriate authorities to arrest him and begin an investigation and prosecution process against him.

 

We would greatly appreciate an urgent meeting with you in this regard.

 

Sincerely yours

 

 

Mohamed Munaf Zeena

Chairman

 

 

 

Reply from FCO 

 

 

CIM’S RESPONSE

14 August 2003

 

Mr Denis MacShane

Minister for Europe

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

London SW1A 2AH

 

Dear Mr MacShane,

 

Thank you very much for your letter of today. We are grateful for the concerns shown in your letter.

We are aware of the fact that Mr Modi had not been invited by the British Government and that no British official would meet him. What we were and are worried about is the impact of the visit of such a notorious person on race relations in this country.

The Government of India has given  assurances to bring to justice all the perpetrators of the genocide. But in the light of non implementation of several enquiry commissions’ reports in the past, the British Indian Muslims find unable to draw any comfort.

As we mentioned in our previous letter, the leaked report of theBritish High Commission clearly said that these riots had “all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing”  and that “reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister remains in power.”  It also said that these pogroms were planned, “possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.’” (emphasis added) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1951000/1951471.stm

You also ignored our letter of 13 August in which we tried to draw your attention towards the legal obligation of British Government under International law specially when two Britons had become victims of the atrocities organised by Modi.

By  allowing a fascist to be entertained on British soil, the FCO is ignoring the anger, concerns and the anxiety  of the British Indian Muslim community in particular and fair minded Indian and non-Indian communities in general.

Moreover by allowing Modi, the FCO is demonstrating utter disregard to public peace, and communal and racial harmony in this country.

If Louis Farrakhan could be banned from entering into Britain for his allegedly anti-Semitic remarks, if Maulana Azeez’s multiple entry  visa could be revoked for his alleged involvement in Kashmir militancy, then we fail to understand why the British Government is so reluctant to refuse entry to Modi.

I feel it necessary to bring to your notice that after Britain’s participation in America’s war on Iraq, her refusal to listen even to most genuine concerns of Muslims and  allowing Modi to address the gathering of Hindu extremists in London, Leicester and other cities, is being interpreted as a policy based on double standards.

We produce some of the racist and Islamophobic comments made by Modi which most probably, he would be preaching in the UK too. For example he justified the Gujarat Genocide by saying:

With the entire population of Gujarat very angry at what happened in Godhra much worse was expected” (Times of India Feb 28 2002)

Asked about the violence, Modi quoted Newton’s third law — ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’— to virtually justify what is happening.” (The Times of India 3 March 2003).

Referring to Congress Party’s so called policy of appeasement of Muslims  with sarcasm Modi said:

I told them [the Congress] I got Narmada water in the month of Sharavan, if they had it their way …. They would have got in Ramzan.” (Star TV played this speech repeatedly on September 15-16 2002 also produced on http://www.frontlineonnet.com/f12006/stories/20030328002704100.htm).

On the closure of relief camps in Gujarat he said:

What should we do? Run relief camps for them [Muslims]? Do we want to open baby-producing centres?”

Rewriting the official family planning slogan “ham do hamare do”  [we are two we have two] he said that Muslim slogan is:

 “Hum paanch our hamare pachchis” (we are five we have 25). (Ibid)

Accusing Muslims of increasing the population  he said:

In order to progress, every child born in Gujarat needs education, manners and employment…that is the economy we need … and for this we will have to teach a lesson to those who are increasing the population at an alarming rate”. (Ibid) 

The fact is that he is a Master of Violent Politics. In 1985-86, he instigated anti-low caste agitation. In 1992, in the town of Surat he organised unspeakable atrocities against women. After September 11, he said all Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims”.  (http://www.tni.org/archives/bidwai/modi.htm )  

In the light of these facts I would, therefore be grateful for an urgent review of the situation and stop  Modi from bringing his venom to this country. 

Sincerely yours

  

Mohamed Munaf Zeena

Chairman

 

Filed in: Press Releases

Leave a Reply