Critical letter to PM Modi publicised by Shashi Tharoor, now denounced by one of its signatories

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-day visit to the United Kingdom (UK), a UK organisation named National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) wrote a letter to PM Modi urging him to take “extraordinary measures” for ensuring justice in rape cases. This letter which was signed by 19 other India-related UK college societies was delivered to the Indian High Commission in London.

The letter dated 14 April expressed horror over two recent rapes in Kathua and Unnao, and demanded immediate proceedings against the accused in the matter. It further “demanded” that PM Modi set an example and prove that the Indian government cares for the well being and dignity of women and children. The letter also accused the Modi government of having a delayed response to these crimes, and called for the PM to take “extraordinary steps to prove that India’s daughters matter”.

The NISAU letter also claimed that in total it had 18 other signatories to its letter.

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Since its publication in the media the letter was given publicity by controversial Congress MP Shashi Tharoor:

Now the letter has managed to court controversy after one of its signatories named “Queen Mary Indian Society” has claimed that wasn’t formally consulted regarding certain sections of it. As a result, the society claims to have rejected the letter in its entirety and rejected the notion of it co-writing the same:

OpIndia reached out to Queen Mary Indian Society who confirmed the authenticity of the said tweet. They also claimed that NISAU had contacted them and read out the letter. In response, the QM Indian Society recommended several changes to it. NISAU they claim never followed up after this.

The society further claims that the final letter posted by NISAU was “radically different” from what was discussed on that phone call, which also didn’t incorporate the changes suggested. Thus they contacted NISAU to remove their endorsement of the letter.

In further damnation for NISAU, Sweta Raghavan a life scientist who claims to be a former elected student officer in the UK, called it a “self-styled undemocratic outfit falsely claiming to represent Indian students”. She thus explained this letter by NISAU as a “shoddy tactic to gain legitimacy”.

If the charges against NISAU are indeed true then it raises the question as to why did Tharoor not carry out sufficient checks before deciding to publicise the letter, which as accused, may have a hidden agenda behind it.

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