WASHINGTON: Washington’s position on the 2002 Gujarat riots has not changed and the omission of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s name from a human rights report does not indicate a policy shift, a US official has said, according to the PTI.
State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at the daily briefing that there was no change in the US policy on the Gujarat riots, while responding to questions on the latest annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by Secretary of State John Kerry.
“There is no change in policy. There’s no editing error,” Psaki told reporters on Friday when asked about the omission of the Gujarat chief minister’s name from the State Department’s congressionally mandated report on India and whether it reflected a policy shift.
“The Gujarat government appointed the Nanavati-Mehta Commission to investigate the 2002 violence. In December the Gujarat government granted an extension for the 21st time, extending the commission to June 30, 2014,” it said.
The State Department said the Gujarat government withdrew its consent to seek the death penalty for former minister Maya Kodnani and others convicted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya violence that killed 97 Muslims.
“We also note that we cite our concerns about several instances of communal violence, as I mentioned yesterday, but our goal is to use illustrative cases to shed light on the nature, scope and severity of human rights abuses we report, not to comprehensively catalogue every human rights violation or abuse that occurred,” Psaki said.