New Delhi: Among the poster banners displayed in the US, one boldly said, “Hey Joe! Ask Modi why student activist Umar Khalid has been imprisoned for over 1000 days without trial?” The posters accused the Narendra Modi-led government of suppressing human rights in India.
Another poster drew attention to the alarming rise in mob lynchings of the people from the minority communities, saying, “Did you know mob lynching of Muslims, Christians and Dalits have surged under Modi’s rule. With almost no accountability.”
Trucks carrying such banners urging US President Joe Biden to question Modi were spotted on the streets of New York City on Wednesday.
A banner addressed to Biden asked, “Hey Joe, ask Modi why he banned the 2023 BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question.'”
Another one said, “Why was Modi banned from the USA from 2005-2014?”
It read, for “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” and added that the Indian prime minister was the “only person ever to be denied a visa on these grounds”, the Independent reported.
The banners also labelled Modi as the “Crime Minister of India.”
One of the posters also highlighted the recent ethnic violence in Manipur which killed more than 90 people and injured over 300.
More than 70 US senators wrote to Biden, asking him to raise concerns about the suppression of religious, press and political freedoms in India.
The letter was released on Tuesday afternoon Eastern time, 48 hours before Modi was scheduled to address a joint meeting of the US Congress for the second time, a rare honour.
Senators Chris van Hollen and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal led the initiative. Hollen had attended a private dinner for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi earlier this month.
“It is an important country to me, and we must call out some of the real issues that are threatening the viability of democracy in all of our countries,” said Jayapal, according to the Independent.
Eighteen Senators, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Tim Kaine, and 57 members of the House of Representatives have signed the letter, Hindustan Times reported.