WASHINGTON: To mark the 10th anniversary of Gujarat communal riots, a Democrat lawmaker has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives urging the state government to restore religious freedom.
The non-binding resolution "recognising the 10th anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat" introduced by Keith Ellison early this week has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
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 violence.
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, IAMC president.
Over a 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the carnage.