Experts concerned over alleged human rights abuses in India

Experts concerned over alleged human rights abuses in India

Expressing concerns over allegations of human rights violations in Gujarat, Kashmir and Orissa, two Indian-Americans have at a Congressional hearing urged US to ensure that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi continues to be denied a US visa.

The hearing convened yesterday by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which was one of the rare occasions in recent years wherein allegations of rights violations were raised by experts and also US lawmakers, has divided the Indian-American community on religious lines here.

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) has welcomed the Congressional hearing and the issues of Gujarat and Kashmir raised by experts. However, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has questioned the decision of the human rights panel to invite Angana Chatterjee, known for her reported links with Ghulam Nabi Fai of the Kashmir American Council who was last year arrested by the FBI and convicted for illegally lobbying on behalf of Pakistan's Inter-Intelligence Services (ISI).

IAMC supported testimonies of both the Indian American experts – Chatterji and Najid Hussain (son-in-law of slain Indian Parliamentarian Ahsan Jafri). "The testimonies of both Dr Hussain and Dr Chatterji gave the Commission a starkly different picture of Gujarat than the one painted by the recent TIME Asia cover story and a Brookings Institution blog article," said Shaheen Khateeb, president of IAMC.

In his testimony, Hussain urged the Commission to deny any recognition to Modi and to use the US's influence and friendship with India to ensure freedom, justice and security for the minorities in Gujarat as well as other Indian states.

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