Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a legal battle on his hands as soon as he touches down on American soil on Friday.
The American Justice Center (AJC) has filed a lawsuit against the Indian premier in the U.S. Federal Court of the Southern District of New York over his alleged involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Acting on behalf of two survivors, the human rights group has filed papers against Modi, accusing him of being a party to the infamous inter-communal riots in Gujarat, India at a time when he was the chief minister of the state.
The three-day period of violent unrest took the lives of some 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat, as the Modi regime turned a blind eye and allowed the statewide mass killings.
The federal court has issued a summons against the Indian PM, and he has 21 days to respond to it. Failure to do so will result in a direct verdict by the court.
Modi, the then-Chief Minister of Gujarat, was widely accused of not just condoning but even inciting the Gujarat riots. He was, however, acquitted of any wrongdoing by a Special Investigation Team of the Supreme Court of India in 2012.
Nonetheless, the international community and human rights groups have serious concerns regarding that not guilty verdict and still regard Modi as a mass murderer. His relationship and image with the west deteriorated to such an extent after the incident that the U.S. denied him a visa in 2005 and termed him persona non grata. They have warmed up to Modi in recent years though due to his emergence as a major political force.
Modi's nine-year visa ban is set to end later today when he lands in Washington to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).