India section of the State Department's Congressionally mandated "2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" released on Thursday makes no reference to the Gujarat chief minister by name.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki insisted that it did not indicate any softening of US stand.

"We are very clear about our concerns about several episodes of communal violence across India. I don't have any new policy or change in policy or new update to report to you," or anything "to convey to you on the status of a visa" for Modi, she said.

Modi was denied a diplomatic US visa and his business/ tourist was revoked by the State Department in 2005 over his alleged role in the 2002 riots.

Modi has not applied for a US visa since then.

Repeating the standard US formulation, Psaki said, "We encourage individuals to apply, and those proceedings or processes are private by standard. It's standard that they're private."

"What I'm conveying to you is that we continue to express concerns about communal violence as it exists in India," she said.

Psaki also "cautioned against linking" US ambassador to India Nancy Powell's recent meeting with Modi saying, "Obviously, we're meeting with a broad range of officials" ahead of India's May general elections.

"There's obviously a political season happening, but we'll meet with a range of officials on the ground, and it's an indication of nothing more than that," she said.

The Human Rights report released by Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said "The most significant human rights problems" in India "were police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and rape; widespread corruption at all levels of government, leading to denial of justice; and separatist, insurgent, and societal violence."

"Other human rights problems included disappearances, poor prison conditions that were frequently life threatening, arbitrary arrest and detention, and lengthy pretrial detention,” it said

(Agencies)

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