Text: H.Res.569 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/01/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 569


Recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 1, 2012

Mr. Ellison submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


RESOLUTION

Recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India.

    Whereas, on February 27, 2002, in the city of Godhra in the western state of Gujarat, India, 58 Hindus were tragically burnt alive in a train coach fire;

    Whereas, immediately following the train fire, communal violence erupted in several towns in Gujarat;

    Whereas, in the International Religious Freedom Report of 2003, the United States Department of State found that “In Gujarat the worst religious violence directed against Muslims by Hindus took place in February and March 2002, leaving an estimated 2,000 dead and 100,000 displaced into refugee camps. It was alleged widely that the police and state government did little to stop the violence promptly, and at times even encouraged or assisted Hindus involved in the riots. Despite substantial evidentiary material, the judicial commission responsible for investigating the riots reported inconclusive findings. No Hindus have been charged for the violence.”;

    Whereas a 2002 Human Rights Watch report entitled “We Have No Orders to Save You” stated that “Between February 28 and March 2 [2002] the attackers descended with militia-like precision on Ahmedabad by the thousands. Chanting slogans of incitement to kill … they were guided by computer printouts listing the addresses of Muslim families and their properties … and embarked on a murderous rampage confident that the police was with them. Portions of the Gujarati language press meanwhile printed fabricated stories and statements openly calling on Hindus to avenge the Godhra attacks.”;

    Whereas Brown University Professor Ashutosh Varshney, one of the world’s experts on riots in India, wrote in a 2004 article that “Unless later research disconfirms the proposition, the existing press reports give us every reason to conclude that the riots in Gujarat were the first full-blooded pogrom in independent India.”;

    Whereas the Indian magazine Tehelka reported that many of the people who participated in the violence said it was possible only because of the connivance of the state police and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi;

    Whereas the United States Government denied Minister Modi a visa to the United States in 2005 on the grounds of a religious freedom violation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the first and only time such a denial has been issued;

    Whereas February 27, 2012, was the tenth anniversary of the train fire and start of the communal violence in Gujarat, India;

    Whereas Human Rights Watch reported on February 24, 2012, that “Where justice has been delivered in Gujarat, it has been in spite of the state government, not because of it.”;

    Whereas minorities in Gujarat continue to experience religious and socio-economic discrimination; and

    Whereas the Department of State reported in its International Religious Freedom Report of 2003 that “Christians were also victims in Gujarat, and many churches were destroyed.”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes the suffering of all those persons who were affected by the 2002 violence in Gujarat, India, including those persons who lost their lives in the Godhra train fire;

(2) shares the opinion of the United States Department of State that the Gujarat government has not adequately pursued justice for the victims of the 2002 violence;

(3) remains concerned by reports from journalists and human rights groups about the complicity of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 violence;

(4) commends the United States Government for denying a visa to Minister Modi in 2005 on the grounds of a religious freedom violation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998;

(5) applauds the Department of State and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom for their monitoring of religious freedom in India and throughout the world;

(6) salutes the role of Indian police officers who, despite personal risk, provided honest testimony about the violence in Gujarat;

(7) supports the role of independent media in India that continue to highlight the Gujarat issue;

(8) commends the role of the National Human Rights Commission and the Indian Supreme Court, which has led to some convictions in Gujarat riot cases, and also the arrest of a few high-level leaders in the Modi administration;

(9) recognizes the work of Indian and Indian-American civil society groups for their tireless devotion to educating people about human rights and religious freedom in India; and

(10) calls on the Gujarat government to heed the recommendations of the State Department to restore religious freedom for all citizens in Gujarat.


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