Manufacturing Support at the Capitol Hill: Modi Supporters Fake Congressional Seal for Diaspora Event

ModiModi purported event “at Capitol Hill” exposed as fake

Sangh Front in the US, NIAPPI/Shalabh Kumar Reported to the Ethics Committee for Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington DC, November 16, 2013

The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) has successfully exposed that Narendra Modi’s purported event on “Capitol Hill” as a fraud and an exercise in illegal and criminal misuse of US Government symbols. After five days of phone calls, letters, document verification and hundreds of emails between CAG activists and Congressional staffers, several members of the House Republican Conference whose names had been used to endorse the Modi event have washed their hands off the event. First reports in the media also suggest that the congresspersons were unaware that their names or the Congressional seal were being used to promote the Modi event and that the fraud had been enacted by a an organization called National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI) and one Mr. Shalabh Kumar, a person with a checkered history of ethics violations.

CAG has learned that the office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has issued a “Cease and Desist” order to Mr. Shalabh ‘Shalli’ Kumar and NIAPPI, who are organizers of the event outside Capitol Hill, where Modi is expected to appear via satellite video on November 19, 2013.

The promotional material for the event has illegally used the seal of the House of Representatives as well as names and pictures of the top Republican Leadership without their consent. It purports to have the support and endorsement of the House Republican Conference, a top Republican body chaired by Rep. Cathy Rodgers.

The “Cease and Desist” Notice seeks immediate cessation of all activities to promote the Modi broadcast in the name of Congresswoman Rodgers and the House Republican Conference. Even as the office of Rep. Rodgers issued the “Cease and Desist”, other Republicans namely Congressman Sessions moved swiftly to put a distance between themselves and the Modi broadcast. In a statement issued by Congressman Sessions received by CAG via email, Congressman Sessions stated clearly:

“It has come to my attention that the National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI) recently used my name and image on an invitation to an event that it is hosting in Washington, DC, on November 19. At no point in time did I agree to attend this event, nor did I approve of the use of my name or image on this invitation. Further, I did not see the invitation until it had been distributed publicly. Had I known that my name and image were on this invitation before it was distributed, I would have requested that they both be removed. Additionally, I have contacted NIAPPI to request that they remove my name and image from this invitation and that they explicitly ask my approval before using my name or image in any of their materials going forward.” – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX-32)

NIAPPI, the key agent behind this misrepresentation and fraudulent promotional tactics, is a Hindu nationalist front organization posing as a public policy institute. It is a resting ground for RSS stalwarts like Bhailal Patel. In the case of this event, Kumar and company tried to run piggyback on an event titled the “Indian American Meetup” that has nothing to do with NIAPPI, and that is indeed taking place inside the Capitol Hill building on November 19. The program schedule for this event clearly shows that neither Mr. Modi nor any functionary of the RSS are scheduled to speak at this event. This GOP “meet and greet” event with Indian Americans was projected as a Modi promotional by Shalli Kumar and the NIAPPI.

“It is typical RSS obfuscation and manipulation,” said Biju Matthew of CAG. “They have a long history of fomenting trouble by throwing dead cows into temples and dead pigs into mosques. Now they have thrown the House Seal on to a Modi flyer. Old habits die hard, ” Matthew added.

CAG activists spoke with the offices of Rep. Greg Walden and Rep. Bob Goodlatte seeking clarification, since their pictures appeared on the flyer. Staffers from both Congressmen’s offices stated categorically that they were unaware of the event, or that the Congressmen’s names and pictures were being used without authorization to promote it.

CAG has called on the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into the fraudulent use of the House Seal, and the fake projection of GOP support for the event. It has also called upon Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to expel Mr. Shalli Kumar from the HRC’s Indian American Advisory Board. “A person who openly resorts to fraud to promote a human rights abuser like Narendra Modi should not be representing the Indian American community at the House Republican Conference” said Biju Mathew. CAG further called upon Congresswoman Rodgers to publicly disassociate herself from NIAPPI and Modi.

The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organizations and individuals in the United States and Canada that have come together in response to the Gujarat genocide to demand accountability and justice. The coalition had effectively campaigned against Narendra Modi in 2005 to get a US entry ban on him for egregious religious freedom violations.

CONTACT:

1. Mr. Raja Swamy
Phone: 864-804-0216

2. Mr. Shaik Ubaid
Phone: 516-567-0783

3. Coalition Against Genocide
Phone/Fax: (443) 927-9039
Email: [email protected]
http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org

-*-End-*-

REFERENCES:

1. Indian American Meetup invitation and schedule

http://coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/support/meetup-invitation-schedule.pdf

2. India Day invite of NIAPPI: http://coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/support/india-day-invite-of-niappi.pdf

3. Cathy Rodgers letter to Modi: http://coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/support/cathy-rodgers-letter-modi.pdf

4. The House Republican Conference: http://www.gop.gov/conference

5. Title 18-CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: Use of likenesses of the great seal of the United States, the seals of the President and Vice President, the seal of the United States Senate, the seal of the United States House of Representatives, and the seal of the United States Congress

http://uscodebeta.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title18-section713&num=0&edition=prelim