LONDON: Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Kingdom in November, many British MPs are calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to raise the issue of human rights violations in India
As many as 40 MPs, including Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, have signed an Early Day Motion that was tabled in July.
An Early Day Motion is a ‘formal motion submitted for debate in the House of Commons’ in the UK parliament and is usually used to draw the government’s attention to causes.
The motion, titled ‘Humanitarian Situation in India’, calls attention to, among other things, India’s ban on BBC’s documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ in March this year.
The Modi government’s ban on the documentary about the gruesome December 16 Delhi gang-rapes had been criticised in the UK. The motion also notes the Indian government’s ban on Indian Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai from travelling to the UK to address British MPs.
Among the other issues raised in the motion are the human rights violations in Held Kashmir as reported by Amnesty International and Irom Sharmila’s hunger strike against the Armed Forces Act (Special Powers). MPs, mostly of the UK’s Labour Party and Scottish National Party, have signed the motion.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had in 2013 sponsored a motion calling for the UK to reinstitute a ban on Modi, who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister, over his role in the communal riots in the state.
However, several Labour MPs, mostly those of Indian origin, including Keith Vaz, have gone all out to welcome the Indian prime minister by even donating their pay rise for the month of November towards hosting a grand reception for Modi at Wembley Stadium in London.
Modi will reach London on November 12 for a three-day visit to the UK, and will address a huge Indian diaspora at Wembley on November 13. Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UK in nearly 10 years, with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh having visited the country last in 2006.
Courtesy: Reports & Researchers