Bengaluru: A day after it was reported that 65 MPs wrote to President Barack Obama, urging him not to grant visa to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, it has emerged that the letter could have been faked with the DMK and CPM leaders denying they signed it.
Even as some newspapers carried the entire list of MPs who have signed the letter, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, M.P. Achuthan of CPI and DMK MP KP Ramalingam on Wednesday said they did not sign the letter. They said their signature might have been either faked or forged. "It appeared to be a cut and paste job," said Yechury.
But in a new twist, CPI leader Syed Pasha claimed that he got the signature of Sitaram Yechury on the letter.
However, Mohammed Adeeb, Independent MP from Rajya Sabha, who took the initiative for this campaign, insisted that Yechury and Achthan had signed the letter and was surprised why they were retracting now.
Apparently a letter signed by 25 Rajya Sabha members and the other by 40 Lok Sabha members was written on November 26 and December 5, 2012 respectively and re-faxed to the White House on Sunday.
Copies of the letters were provided by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) as BJP senior leader Rajnath Singh, reached Washington to meet US lawmakers, think tanks and US government officials during which he said he will urge the Americans to lift the ban on visa for Modi.
"Given that legal cases against the culprits including many senior officials in Mr. Modi's administration are still pending in the court of law, any revoking of the ban at this juncture would be seen as a dismissal of the issues concerning Mr. Modi's role in the horrific massacres of 2002," the letter to Obama said.
"It would legitimise Mr. Modi's human rights violations and seriously impact the nature of US-India relations by sending a message that the United States values economic interests over and above the universal values of human rights and justice," said the letter.
The alleged signatories include Sabir Ali and Ali Anwar Ansari (Janata Dal-U), Rasheed Masood (Congress), S Ahmed (Trinamool Congress) Asaduddin Owaisi (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen), Thirumavalavan (Viduthalai Chiruttaigal Katchi), K.P. Ramalingam (DMK) and S.S. Rasmasubbu (Congress).
The MPs alleged that Modi had not only ‘obstructed’ the course of justice but also ‘failed’ to provide rehabilitation to the survivors of whom 16,000 continue to live in refugee colonies lacking basic amenities.
The letter to Obama about Modi's US visa, "is a stark reminder that Modi and the divisive ideology he represents continues to be anathema to a cross section of Indians," said Raja Swamy of the Coalition Against Genocide.
"After long having denied any desire on the part of Mr. Modi to acquire a US visa, Mr. Rajnath Singh's visit to the US, to lobby lawmakers here for Modi's visa reeks of hypocrisy," he added.
Ahsan Khan of the IAMC, a constituent of the CAG coalition, said it was noteworthy that Modi evoked such strongly negative reactions from elected representatives in India as well as the US across the ideological spectrum.