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Modi writes to PM; no one harmed, says MEA

Modi’s letter was the second this week over the safety of Gujaratis in Kenya, the first being sent on Monday, reports Neelesh Misra.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2008 03:17 IST
Neelesh Misra
Neelesh Misra
Hindustan Times

Indian-born Kenyans are not being targeted and none have been harmed, but hundreds have taken shelter in temples and gurdwaras after their shops were burned in the country’s violence and turmoil, the government said.

More than 1 lakh Indian-origin people live in Kenya. Many of them have lost properties in the looting and violence between tribal factions. They are concentrated largely in the regions of Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakura and Eldoret.

"There are no reports of any person of Indian origin being subjected to any violence or being harmed,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna. “The violence is not targeting the Asian community or People of Indian Origin (PIO).”

“There has been some looting of shops and commercial establishments.”

Both the BJP and the Congress have asked the government to take steps towards the safety of the Indian expatriates.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi sought emergency visas for those who wanted to temporarily travel to India.

“We do view the situation in Kenya with great concern. Of course, it is purely an internal matter of Kenya,” said Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan. “We call upon the government to take steps to protect the lives of the people of Indian origin.”

Modi’s letter was the second this week over the safety of Gujaratis in Kenya, the first being sent on Monday. “The state government has information that people of Gujarati origin have suffered heavy losses to their property due to the violence,” Modi said in his letter, according to PTI.

He suggested that the government bring them to Nairobi by sea and special flights should be arranged for them to return.