Britain ends 10-year boycott of Gujarat leader
AHMEDABAD, India (AFP) - Britain said on Thursday it would end a 10-year boycott of the leader of India's western Gujarat state imposed over deadly religious riots there in 2002 that left three Britons dead.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, came to power shortly before the riots triggered by the deaths of nearly 60 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire that was initially blamed on a mob of Muslims.
He was accused of doing too little to prevent the blood-letting, which left more than 2,000 mainly Muslims dead in an orgy of violence and arson, according to rights groups. The government figures put the death toll at about 1,000.
Britain's junior foreign minister Hugo Swire has asked the ambassador to India to visit Gujarat and meet Mr Modi to discuss a "wide range of issues of mutual interests", the British foreign office said in a statement.