From the news desk

Muslim lawyers call for Modi’s arrest

Two South African groups want Indian prime minister Narenda Modi to be arrested for war crimes should he set foot in South Africa for the Brics Summit later this month. The Muslim Lawyer Association and the South Africa Kashmir Action Group (SAKAG) have jointly lodged a complaint and request for National Prosecuting Authority to issue a warrant of arrest for Modi for “gross human right violations” in Indian occupied Kashmir. Modi will be visiting the country from the 25-27 July, where the heads of state of the five member Brics states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet.

The MLA said an application has been brought to the South African judiciary for his arrest under international criminal law and other international convents which South Africa has ratified.

“South Africa, under the jurisdiction of international law are duty bound to fullfill the requirement for bringing a case of war crime against any individual,” said SAKAG founder Salman Khan.

During his stint as Gujarat Chief Minister in 2002, Modi was accused of deliberately allowing anti-Muslim riots in the state. On 27 February that year, a train coach carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire in Godhra station in Gujarat, killing 58 people. Within hours and without a shred of evidence, Modi declared that the Pakistani secret services had been to blame; he then had the charred bodies paraded in the main city of Ahmedabad; and let his own party support a state-wide strike for three days. What followed was mass bloodshed: 1,000 dead on official estimates, more than 2,000 by independent tallies. The vast majority of those who died were Muslim.

Modi has been blamed by a police chief over a series of “fake encounter killings” — the extrajudicial murders of terrorist or criminal suspects carried out between 2002 and 2007.

As the Commander in Chief of the armed forces during his tenure since 2014, there were numerous extra-judicial murders, rape and other human right violation committed by 700,000 Indian army personnel stationed in Indian occupied Kashmir.

The United Nations resolution on Jammu and Kashmir was passed on August 13, 1948, after India lodged a complaint with the world body against the Pakistani invasion in Kashmir. It proposes that Kashmir”s future would be decided in accordance with the will of the people.

“People are demanding the right to self-determination and the Indian government is circumventing this and using ugly tactics such as extra-judicial murders and rape. Rape is being used as a weapon of war.”

“We are saying enough is enough…Modi is not welcome. India wants to increase trade and industry between South Africa, but they cannot ask for this without upholding human rights in their country.”

Khan said they lodged an official complaint to the NPA to launch an investigation into whether there is possible cause for his arrest.

If the NPA decides not to prosecute Modi, SAKAG will head to Parliament and the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDDP), and as a last resort, the judicial courts.

“The South African courts are impartial and will look at it in the context of a human rights issue. By virtue of the Indian constitution, the serving prime minister is the commander in chief of the armed forces of India.” VOC

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