Concerns have been raised over the visit to the UK of an Indian politician described by opponents as a “merchant of death.” Narendra Modi, the Gujurat chief minister, has been accused by human rights groups of presiding over a campaign of “state-sponsored genocide” and failing to halt the killings of more than 1,000 Indian Muslims in riots in 2002.
He is expected to a keynote speaker at a £1,000 ticket London business summit organised by the Dow Jones Financial News in May.
Former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur who attempted to sue Scotland Yard for racism is also due to speak at the ‘Indian Business Success’ conference.
Amnesty International urged British authorities to examine the human rights violations if he visits the UK.
Supporters argue he could do little to stop mobs hell bent on avenging the murder of 58 Hindu pilgrims.
Banned from entering US
The Hindu politician is banned from entering the United States who officially blames his state government for “participating and encouraging” the attacks.
However, the Home Office gave the controversial 58-year-old permission to enter the UK in 2005 for a cultural festival but he cancelled the trip over safety concerns.
It is expected that another application will be approved.
A Home Office spokesman said:
“We are determined to prevent individuals coming to the UK who want to spread extremism, or hatred in our communities.”
Dow Jones, which has invited Modi to the UK, has declined to comment.
Modi ‘calls for military response’ to Mumbai attacks
Just last week, Modi, a senior figure in India’s Right-wing BJP party, called for a military response to the Mumbai terror attacks, saying:
“Unless you reply to Pakistan in the language it understands, terrorism will not be wiped out from this country.”
The families of two Britons killed in the 2002 riots are currently suing Modi’s state government for £2.6 million.
2 March 2009, The London Daily News