Condemns Modi administration’s killing of Muslim protestors, illegal shrine demolition
New York, 3nd May 2006: Indian Muslim Council-USA, an US based advocacy group dedicated to the promotion of pluralism, strongly condemned the Gujarat state government’s demolition of a 300 year old historical Muslim shrine and the subsequent police shooting at civilian protesters that killed atleast 4 people and injured dozens. The government of India’s western state of Gujarat is headed by Narendra Modi, who was banned last year by the US State Department from entering the United States on account of his role in numerous human rights abuses.
The 300 year old Muslim shrine was demolished by the city’s municipal authorities under the pretext that it was an “illegal encroachment” prompting India’s National Commission on Minorities to state: “It stands to reason that a structure that pre-dates a master plan cannot be put to the category of ‘encroachment’. Nor could it be the policy of the government to pull down historical monuments”.
“The systematic demolitions of Muslim monuments and properties under various pretexts have now become an established pattern of the Modi government in its drive to intimidate and ethnically cleanse Muslims from Gujarat” said Zeeshan Farees, spokeswoman for the Indian Muslim Council-USA.
Farees expressed alarm at the news reports that many Muslim localities were surrounded by mobs belonging to the Hindu extremist groups and of Muslim individuals being attacked and burned alive. She supported the calls by the Indian human rights activists for urgent intervention by the Central Indian government. “IMC-USA has launched an action alert in this regard. Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have amply documented the role played by the local administration and the state police forces in Gujarat which acted with prejudice and aided mobs in the massacre of Muslims during the 2002 carnage. We need the Federal police forces and military to be called in to bring the situation under control.” she said.
Modi’s government has been widely accused by Indian and International human rights organizations of playing an active role in the massacre of over 2,000 Muslims, the rape of hundreds of Muslim women and the ethnic cleansing of over 150,000 people during the 2002 violence in Gujarat. Over 260 Mosques and shrines were destroyed during violence that erupted under Modi’s administration 3 years back. Low intensity violence and intimidation against religious minorities has been continuing in the state for several years.
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