Ahead of the mega ‘Howdy Modi’ community event to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by US President Donald Trump, in Houston, two US-based Kashmiri activists having filed a federal lawsuit accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of human rights violations in Kashmir. New Delhi is concerned about the Prime Minister’s security and is in touch with Washington over the issue.
The abrogation of Article 370 which led to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir in two Union Territories, led to the petition which alleges “unilateral annexation” of Jammu and Kashmir leading to a “military exercise.” A city court has issued summons to the Prime Minister regarding this petition.
The Indian mission in US is working to find out the implications of the federal lawsuit.
According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, a local daily, the 73-page lawsuit filed jointly by two US-based Kashmiri activists and the Khalistan Referendum Front, alleges that Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Commander of Indian Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon carried out extrajudicial killings and inflicted “cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment” upon Kashmiris following the revocation Article 370, on August 5.
The civil lawsuit has been filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, a federal statute that allows civil suits on the US soil against foreign officials suspected of committing torturous crimes or extrajudicial killing.
“The civil complaint accuses the Indian head of state of human rights violations under The Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991”, the report said.
The Khalistan Referendum Front, one of the petitioner said through their New York-based attorney that they planned to submit the case as a class action.
According to reports, human rights protesters are expected to gather in large numbers outside the Houston’s NRG Stadium during the ‘Howdy, Modi’ gathering that will see 50,000 Indian diaspora in attendance on Sunday. The Pakistani elements too have made elaborate arrangements to pick up people from outside mosques in Houston for the anti-Modi protest.
Earlier, in UK too on August 15, thousands of people, many waving Pakistani and Kashmiri flags, protested outside the Indian High Commission in London over the abrogation of Article 370. Protesters carried banners saying “Kashmir is Burning”, “Free Kashmir” and “Modi: Make Tea Not War”, according to a Reuters report.
Violent clashes were reported from outside the Indian High Commission when thousands of people converged there for pre-planned protests and counter-demonstrations. The anti-India protest was organised by Pakistani groups as well as Sikh and Kashmiri separatist outfits.