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US panel seeks to keep Modi out, truncates map of India

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Washington, May 01, 2013
First Published: 10:56 IST(1/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:33 IST(2/5/2013)

A US panel on state of religious freedom has recommended the country should continue to deny Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi a US visa.


“There is significant evidence linking him to the violence and the terrible events that took place in Gujarat and for this reason, a visa would not be appropriate,” Katrina Lantos Swett, chairwoman of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said on Tuesday.

The commission released a report that categorises countries according to what the US considers is their record on religious freedom — India is on its second tier list.

The report, however, also carries a map of India without J&K, a departure from official depictions of the map of India as on state department’s website and the CIA ‘s “The World Factbook”. It couldn’t be confirmed if it was by design or a mistake.

The commission describes itself as an “independent, bipartisan US federal government advisory body with its commissioners appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in Congress.”

The commission wrote to the the secretary of state in 2012 reiterating its recommendation. The US continues to deny the chief minister a visa, though he hasn’t asked for one since 2005.

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