Narendra Modi urges Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to assist violence-hit expats in Kenya

Ahmedabad, Jan 2: Expressing concern over attacks on Gujarati Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra ModiPrime Minister Manmohan Singhexpatriates in Kenya, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to ensure their safety in that country.

Modi has asked Dr. Singh to take up the issue with the Kenyan Government to ensure safety of Gujaratis in Kenya.

In his letter, Modi voiced concern over the safety of about 400 Gujaratis who have taken shelter in a Swaminarayan temple in Kisumu, a town located in Western part of Kenya.

"I request the Indian Government to immediately beef up security for our Indian brothers in Kenya. Indian youth in Kenya who want to return should be brought back, and if required through the sea route or they should be taken to Nirobi and arrangements made for their stay there. Since their houses have been burnt, missing documents must be overlooked and they should be allowed to move to safer areas without any hitch, keeping in mind their Indian blood," said Modi.

Ever since post-election riots broke out in Kenya, the Gujarati diaspora has been living in fear.

Hundreds of Gujarati businessmen have taken shelter in a temple in the Kenyan town of Kisumu after the violence.

Offices and factories belonging to Gujaratis had been looted and their houses attacked by residents.

With defeated Kenyan presidential challenger Raila Odinga sticking to his guns after an allegedly rigged election and freshly re-elected President Mwai Kibaki vowing to assert his authority, the east African nation is locked in a crippling crisis.

Scores of people were killed and several thousand have fled after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner in a disputed election. The estimated death toll has risen to about 250 till today.

Police beat protesters and flushed looters out of buildings in Nairobi's Kibera slum, which is within opposition leader Raila Odinga's constituency.

Kenyan opposition supporters burnt houses in Nairobi's Korogocho slum as police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse the crowd.

Much of the fighting pitched Luos, who support opposition leader Raila Odinga, against Kibaki's ethnic Kikuyu group.

There are about 43,000 Gujaratis in Nairobi and about 3,000 in Kisumu. (ANI)