This Article is From Jul 23, 2014

Sikh Rights Group Launches Online Petition against Modi's US Visit

Sikh Rights Group Launches Online Petition against Modi's US Visit

Narendra Modi takes the oath of office as he is sworn in as India's Prime Minister in New Delhi on May 26, 2014.

Washington: A New York-based Sikh rights group, which had earlier campaigned against Congress leaders
Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, has launched an online petition urging President Barack Obama to cancel the invitation extended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the US in September this year.

"Instead of hosting Modi at the White House, President Obama should condemn Modi and ban the BJP for perpetrating violence against Muslims, Sikhs and Christians," says the White House online petition which was launched by the Sikh for Justice (SFJ) yesterday.

Mr Obama has invited Mr Modi to visit the US for a meeting with him at the White House on September 30. Mr Modi has accepted the invitation.

"In June 1984, the BJP instigated military attack on the Golden Temple resulting in the massacre of thousands of Sikh pilgrims. In 2008, BJP orchestrated violence against Christians in Orissa," the petition alleges.

The petition, that requires at least 100,000 signatures by August 20 to gain any attention of the White House, had got less than two dozen signatures on the first day.

Mr Obama had invited Mr Modi during a conversation on the phone to congratulate him on his win in the general elections in May. A formal letter of invitation was handed over when US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, visited India earlier this month. It was the first high-level contact between Mr Modi and the US leadership ever since Washington denied the former a visa in 2005, citing the 2002 riots in Gujarat, of which Mr Modi was chief minister till he took over as the country's Prime Minister.

The SFJ had campaigned against Mrs Gandhi and Mr Singh in connection with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.