Khalid Hasan
Khalid Hasan campaign leader

US commission urges Washington to maintain visa ban on Narendra Modi

US commission urges Washington to maintain visa ban on Narendra Modi  May. 1 (ANI): A US panel has urged Washington to maintain a ban on a visa to chief minister of Gujarat over anti-Muslim riots, even though he is a favourite to run for prime minister. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom said in a wide-ranging annual report that Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi should be "inadmissible to the United States" due to "severe violations of religious freedom", reports The Express Tribune.... Katrina Lantos Swett, chair of the Commission, said there is significant evidence linking Modi to the violence and the terrible events that took place in Gujarat and for this reason, a visa would not be appropriate. Modi led the western state in 2002 when religious riots broke out that left 2,000 dead, most of them Muslims. One of his former ministers was jailed for life for instigating the killings but several investigations cleared Modi of personal responsibility. With Gujarat's economy booming, Modi has tried to rebrand himself as a pro-business reformist and is considered a frontrunner to lead the nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in next year's national elections. The US State Department has refused to let Modi visit. But it has faced growing calls to change its position, with three junior Republican members of Congress visiting Gujarat in March and urging a visa for Modi. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, whose board is appointed by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders of both parties, advises the government on policy but does not have power over visa decisions. (ANI)

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