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UK PM Boris Johnson lands in hot water over bulldozer pictures in India

The factory visit had created a stir across social media, pointing to the use of JCB equipment in the Municipal Coropration of Delhi's “anti-encroachment” drive in Delhi, an issue referred to the courts

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Saturday, April 30, 2022, 01:55 PM IST

Boris Johnson's visit to the JCB factory on April 21 was criticised as
Boris Johnson's visit to the JCB factory on April 21 was criticised as "tone-deaf" | AFP
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been slammed by two women MPs in the UK over his visit to a JCB factory in Gujarat days after excavators razed homes and shops in several states in the wake of communal clashes.

The MPs also questioned if the British Prime Minister brought up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While the BJP-led governments and civic bodies have stressed that the demolitions were carried out to remove encroachment, the Opposition and activists have accused them of targeting Muslims in the garb of removing encroachment.

Speaking in the UK's House of Commons, Labour MP for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome, questioned if Prime Minister Johnson's recent visit to India had helped legitimise the demolitions carried out by the BJP-led administrations in various states.

"We know that during the Prime Minister's visit, he was photographed leaning out of a digger in a JCB factory. Just days before the BJP used JCB bulldozers to bulldoze Muslim shops and homes and the gate of a mosque in New Delhi," Whittome said.

"Did the Prime Minister raise this with (Prime Minister) Modi. If not, why not? And does the Minister accept that the Prime Minister's visit to India has helped legitimise the actions of Modi's far-right government?"

Zarah Sultana, MP from Coventry South, also raised the issue in the UK Parliament and said Johnson's visit to the JCB factory "shows how much he really cares about human rights".

"Boris Johnson failed to challenge Modi on the BJP whipping-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," tweeted Sultana.

The factory visit had created a stir across social media, pointing to the use of JCB equipment in the Municipal Coropration of Delhi's “anti-encroachment” drive in Delhi, an issue referred to the courts.

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Published on: Saturday, April 30, 2022, 01:55 PM IST