As President Obama and Prime Minister Modi met to discuss future relations between the U.S. and India at the White House, Kashmiri and Sikh groups gathered outside to hold a protest calling for Prime Minister Modi to be brought to justice. Prime Minister Modi is known to have a history with religious violence and at one point was ban from visiting for the U.S. because of his actions during the 2002 Gujarat violence. Since taking office, religious violence in India has spiked and many Christian communities, along with other religious minority communities, have been affected.
10/1/2014 India (The Hindu) – While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama focused on building bilateral bonhomie at the White House an increasingly heated atmosphere gripped Lafeyette Park steps away from the two leaders’ meeting venue, as Kashmiri and Sikh groups and some non-affiliated protestors waved placards and shouted slogans.
On Monday evening things seemed to reach a boiling point when, according to reports, police on site had to intervene after members of the Kashmiri American Council squared off against supporters of Mr. Modi during a “sit-in” coinciding with the private dinner between the Prime Minister and Mr. Obama.
Another organization, Sikhs for Justice, the human rights group that has campaigned for justice for the 1984 riots, was also gathering “several hundreds” of protesters outside the White House on Tuesday it said, as a broader discussion between the two nations was taking place within.
SFJ’s high-visibility Citizens’ Court held at the venue, including a “indictment” of Mr. Modi on “charges” related to his alleged role in presiding over the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, occurred even as the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission had made plans to “discuss India’s failure to prosecute the architects of the  pogroms; discuss the importance that accountability will have for India’s future; and provide recommendations for U.S. foreign policy in relation to India.”
The Commission also picked the date of the bilateral summit at the White House to screen “The Widow Colony,” an award-winning documentary that amplified the voices of Sikh widows who lost loved ones in November 1984.
This week pressure from Capitol Hill on the Obama administration also came in the form of a letter that eleven Congressmen from both parties wrote to the President on Monday, urging him to seize the “opportunity to discuss religious inclusion and the protection of religious minorities in India,” with the Indian Prime Minister.