Thursday, March 22, 2012

FOR THE RECORD: US House RESOLUTION 569 - Recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India.



H. RES. 569

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



MARCH 1, 2012

Mr. ELLISON submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the

Committee on Foreign Affairs


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 Hin-
dus 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 fullblooded
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,

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

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

2 (1) recognizes the suffering of all those persons
3 who were affected by the 2002 violence in Gujarat,
4 India, including those persons who lost their lives in
5 the Godhra train fire;
6 (2) shares the opinion of the United States De-
partment of State that the Gujarat government has
8 not adequately pursued justice for the victims of the
9 2002 violence;
10 (3) remains concerned by reports from journal-
ists and human rights groups about the complicity
12 of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the
13 2002 violence;
14 (4) commends the United States Government
15 for denying a visa to Minister Modi in 2005 on the

1 grounds of a religious freedom violation under the
2 International Religious Freedom Act of 1998;
3 (5) applauds the Department of State and the
4 United States Commission on International Reli-
gious Freedom for their monitoring of religious free-
dom in India and throughout the world;
7 (6) salutes the role of Indian police officers
8 who, despite personal risk, provided honest testi-
mony about the violence in Gujarat;
10 (7) supports the role of independent media in
11 India that continue to highlight the Gujarat issue;
12 (8) commends the role of the National Human
13 Rights Commission and the Indian Supreme Court,
14 which has led to some convictions in Gujarat riot
15 cases, and also the arrest of a few high-level leaders
16 in the Modi administration;
17 (9) recognizes the work of Indian and Indian-
18 American civil society groups for their tireless devo-
tion to educating people about human rights and re-
ligious freedom in India; and
21 (10) calls on the Gujarat government to heed
22 the recommendations of the State Department to re-
store religious freedom for all citizens in Gujarat.

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