NEW DELHI (AFP) – A New York court has ordered Narendra Modi to answer allegations of “attemp-ted genocide” over deadly anti-Muslim riots, reports said Friday, as he began his first US visit as India’s prime minister.
The complaint relates to an outbreak of anti-Muslim rioting in 2002 in the western Indian state of Gujarat, where Modi served as chief minister before he was elected prime minister in May.
Lawyers for rights group the American Justice Center filed a civil case on Thursday seeking damages from Modi for what they call “attempted genocide”, according to a copy of the petition ob-tained by The Hindu newspaper.
“It is clear that justice for the plaintiffs cannot be obtained in India because of the condoning of this genocidal act of state-sanctioned terrorism,” reads the petition, issued on behalf of victims of the riots.
The Hindu said the court had issued a summons ordering him to respond to the charges within 21 days.
Modi, a Hindu nationalist, was refused a US visa in 2005 over the allegations, which he has always denied.