The US Federal Court for the Southern District of New York today issued summons against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the massacres committed in Gujarat during 2002, when he was Chief Minister of the Indian state. Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in New York on Friday.
The court issued the summons in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Justice Center (AJC), a non-profit human rights. AJC has filed the suit along with two survivors of the horrific and organized violence of Gujarat 2002. The suit has been filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA). Names of the survivors have not been disclosed.
Seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the twenty-eight page complaint charges PM Modi with committing crimes against humanity, extra-judicial killings, torture and inflicting mental and physical trauma on the victims, mostly from the Muslim community.
An estimated 2,000 people were massacred and over 100,000 were displaced from their homes in Gujarat in 2002. The pogroms were marked by unspeakable sexual violence against hundreds of women. AJC is providing legal support and advice to the survivors in their effort to hold Mr. Modi accountable for his complicity in the violence. The survivors are suing Mr. Modi for the loss of lives and trauma in their families, and caused emotional, financial and psychological devastation in their lives.
“The Tort Case against Prime Minister Modi is an unequivocal message to human rights abusers everywhere,” said Dr. John Bradley, a Director at the AJC, a veteran activist from the civil rights era. “Time and place and the trappings of power will not be an impediment to justice,” added Dr. Bradley, a known associate of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Alien Tort Claims Act, also known as Alien Tort Statute (ATS), is a US federal law first adopted in 1789 that gives the federal courts jurisdiction to hear lawsuits filed by US residents for acts committed in violation of international law outside the US.
AJC has also announced a press conference to share details of the case, and the legal path ahead in the survivors’ quest for justice. AJC President, Mr. Joseph Whittington Jr., who is the 2nd Ward Alderman of Harvey, Illinois will address the press conference.
Details of the press conference:
- WHAT: US Court Summons Indian Prime Minister Modi for his role in the Gujarat 2002
- WHEN: Friday, September 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM
WHERE: Regency Room, Grand Hyatt New York
109 E. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, USA(Park Avenue at Grand Central Terminal)
Agencies, TCN, PTI, Shafaqna News Desk