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Modi raises voice, rallies behind Kenya Gujaratis

Jan 02, 2008 04:49 PM IST India India

New Delhi: In one of the worst spate of ethnic violence in Kenya, 300 people have been killed in tribal clashes following President Mwai Kibaki's re-election. On Tuesday, 30 people were killed after a mob set a church in a western town on fire. There have been reports of Gujarati businesses being targeted, forcing many Indians to take refuge in temples. Parents of Indians staying in Kenya have urged India to talk to the Kenya. “We want our government to talk to the government of Kenya and ensure safety of our children. Our government must try to bring our children back in case of an emergency," says Anil Dholakiya. Witnesses say charred bodies, including that of women and children, were strewn about the smouldering wreckage of the church after the Tuesday attack. About 200 people are believed to have taken refuge at the church following growing instances of tribal clashes in the country. There is also a considerable Gujarati Diaspora in Kenya, many of them in Kisumi, the town that is one of the worst affected by the clashes. There are reports that Gujarati businesses have been targeted and shops are being burned down. Many of the Indians have been holed up in temples for the past two days and are gradually running out of food. Expressing concern over attacks on Gujaratis and looting of their properties in the run up to the poll in that country, Gujarat Chief Minister has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to ensure their safety. In his letter, Modi voiced his concern over the safety of 400 Gujaratis who have taken shelter in a Swaminarayan temple in Kisumu. Modi wrote: “I am in touch with the Indian Embassy in Kenya and no loss of human life has been reported, but mostly Gujaratis have lost a lot of property.” “But I am not happy with the information which has been provided by the Government to the relatives of the Gujarati families who have lost their property in Kenya. I will be very supportive to the Gujarati Kenyan youth, if they want to come back to India,” he added. (With PTI inputs)

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