British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been reprimanded by two female MPs in the UK during his visit to a JCB factory in Gujarat, days after excavators razed homes and shops in several states in the wake of communal clashes.
MPs also questioned whether the British Prime Minister was raising the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While the BJP-led governments and civil society organizations have emphasized that the demolition was carried out to eliminate infringements, the opposition and activists have accused them of targeting Muslims in the form of removing infringement.
Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East in the British House of Commons, questioned whether Prime Minister Johnson’s recent visit to India had helped to legitimize the demolition work being carried out by the BJP-led governments in several states.
The BJP (Modi’s ruling party) uses JCB diggers to bulldoze Muslims’ homes and shops.
Boris Johnson posed with JCB diggers on his recent visit to India, but his minister declined to say whether he even brought up these vandalisms with Modi. pic.twitter.com/aIWVw5TLIl
— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) Apr 28, 2022
She pointed to the photos of Mr Johnson with an excavator during a visit to the factory of British heavy equipment manufacturer JCB near Vadodara shortly after North Delhi Municipal Corporation, controlled by BJP, opened houses and shops in Jahangirpuri with the leveled the ground.
“We know that during the Prime Minister’s visit, he was photographed leaning from an excavator in a JCB factory. Just days before the BJP used JCB bulldozers to clear Muslim shops and homes and the gate of a mosque in New Delhi bulldozers,” said Mrs Whittome. said.
“Has the Prime Minister brought this up to (Prime Minister) Modi. If not, why not? And does the Minister accept that the Prime Minister’s visit to India has contributed to legitimizing the actions of Modi’s far-right government?”
Zarah Sultana, MP from Coventry South, also raised the issue in the UK Parliament, saying Mr Johnson’s visit to the JCB factory “shows how much he really cares about human rights”.
Boris Johnson failed to challenge Modi over the BJP stirring up anti-Muslim violence during his trip to India.
Instead, he visited a JCB factory the day after the company’s bulldozers demolished Muslim homes in Delhi.
That shows how much he really cares about human rights. pic.twitter.com/WMlsZYm8Lp
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) Apr 26, 2022
“Boris Johnson did not challenge Modi about the BJP stirring up anti-Muslim violence during his trip to India. Instead, he visited a JCB factory the day after the company’s bulldozers demolished Muslim homes in Delhi,” she said in a statement. Twitter post, in which she shared. a clip of her speech in the House of Representatives.
In response to both MPs, the government benches said they condemn discrimination and raise such issues when necessary.
Earlier, Mr Johnson’s April 21 visit to the JCB factory was criticized as “tone deaf” and “ironic”.
The demolition at Jahangirpuri in Delhi was carried out after clashes between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. The clash followed several incidents of communal tensions in different parts of the country on Ram Navami.
JCB is one of the largest manufacturers of construction equipment and excavators and over the years the term bulldozers has become synonymous with JCB in India.