Human Rights Advocacy Groups Oppose Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bay Area Visit - NBC Bay Area
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Human Rights Advocacy Groups Oppose Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bay Area Visit



    How Much Sleep do you Really Need?
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a joint press conference with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at Government Buildings, Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015.

    News that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to hobnob with Northern California's leading tech executives has sparked outrage among human rights advocacy groups.

    National advocacy group Sikhs For Justice plans to protest Modi’s visit at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on Sunday morning and, later in the day, outside the SAP Center

    The group argues that Modi’s tenure as India's leader has resulted in deteriorating religious freedom for its citizens. They allege that he is aggressively trying to turn the world’s largest democracy into a Hindu nation through forced conversion of Muslims and Christians.

    Sikhs For Justice has also offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who poses specific questions to Zuckerberg and Modi regarding the prime minister's treatment of Sikhs. 

    "We urge everyone to remind [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg that hosting a known human rights violator runs counter to the core American value of upholding religious freedom,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an attorney and legal advisor for Sikhs For Justice.

    Modi, who was in the United States last September, is slated to visit Tesla and Google and also meet with Indian-American startup founders. He believes that the technological innovation that these companies are known for can help to raise the standard of living in India.

    The SAP center is expected to be at full capacity for Sunday evening's event. More than 45,000 people requested tickets to hear Modi speak, but the arena can only hold 18,000. Video screens will be set up outside to accommodate those who were unable to secure a spot inside.

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