NEW YORK:A Sikh rights group has filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking documents relating to the Obama administration’s decision to invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting at the White House next month.
The New York-based Sikh for Justice (SFJ) filed the request with the State Department seeking documents related to the visa ban on Modi after August 2005.
In that year, the State Department revoked a visa that Modi had obtained for travel to the US because of his involvement in the 2002 anti-Muslim 2002 riots in Gujarat.
But after his election triumph this year, President Barack Obama called Modi personally and invited him for a meeting in September, saying he looked forward to his talks with the Indian leader.
Urging the Department of State to expedite, the SFJ’s FOIA states that “Modi’s visa was cancelled/revoked by the US government in 2005 for his involvement in serious human rights violations during 2002 massacre in the state of Gujarat while he was the Chief Minister of that state. “Since Modi is due to arrive in the United States during September 2014 and is scheduled to attend a summit at the White House, it is urgent that public be aware of how and under what US law a decision was taken to reverse ban on the issuance of visa to Modi, a known human rights violator”.
“The law requires USDOS to respond to such FOIA requests within 20 business days,” the rights group said.