Kashmiri, Sikh communities gather at White House to protest Modi visit
WASHINGTON: Kashmiri and Sikh communities protested against ongoing human rights violation in India on Monday evening against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump, ARY News reported.
The protesters were holding placards and chanting slogans against the Indian premier.
“We are here today basically to raise awareness of the human rights violations that are happening with India,” Jatinder Grewal, Director of Sikhs for Justice told foreign media.
Expressing his concern on deteriorating social conditions of minorities, another protester Pastor Rob Rotola said: “When Modhi came into power in 2014 he promised the Christians and other minorities that he would allow freedom of religion, he lied.”
“The only people that have favoured status in India is not all people, it s the Hindu nationalist. It’s the far extremist party that tends to violence. And as these groups have ramped up the violence, the police state and the government looks the other way, and is allowing it to happen,” he added.
Joining in conversation, Bishop John Lutembeak, a missionary in India, said that he was there to for the Indian church. “Christians have been killed, women have been raped and Hindu is taking more part in India and it wants to turn India into a Hindu nation and this is what has brought us here to protest, to show that world that even the conversation that President Trump will have with Prime Minister Mohdi should put into consideration that tolerance of different religious. Let not one Hindu religion be over other religions and begin to persecute them”
White House officials have said the president likes to deal with delicate matters like human rights and religious liberty violations in private when speaking to world leaders. However, it is unclear if the president raised any concern during his meetings with Modi.
Modi arrived on the south side of the White House, the protesters were on the north side so it was also unclear if he ever saw them.
However, Trump and Modi were friendly towards each other after their meeting when they delivered statements from the Rose Garden
The president said the U.S. and India “agree on most things” and joked that “by the end of the day we ll agree on everything. I have a feeling”.
He said India has agreed to partner with the U.S. in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism. India is also purchasing $365 million worth of military transport aircraft with another $2 billion sale of U.S. made unarmed drones to be finalized soon.