PM Modi leaves for five-day visit to Sweden, UK, Germany

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They say they want direct answers from PM Modi about why crimes against women, Dalits and minorities have increased in India.

PM Modi's royal welcome will include a special event hosted by Prince Charles, during which the heir to the British throne will drive up in a Tata Motors' first-ever electric Jaguar to symbolise the India-UK technical collaboration. Smart cities, renewables, trade and investment and climate change will dominate discussions in Stockholm - sources said, Modi, has been particularly keen to build closer ties with the Nordic countries.

Amid national outrage over the rapes in Kathua and Unnao, a group of 49 retired civil servants have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, blaming him for what they called a "terrifying state of affairs".

India and Sweden will also jointly organise the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on Tuesday which is scheduled to be attended by the Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The pact is derived from a broader agreement by India and Sweden in 2016 during the visit of the Swedish PM Stefan Lofven to India - the two sides are hoping to focus on a few areas which will get greater attention.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will is to arrive at London on a four-day visit to the United Kingdom on Tuesday, is the only head of government to be offered bilateral meetings ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), according to senior officials.

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PM Modi will then head for his audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace before the Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath diaspora event to be telecast live from an as-yet undisclosed iconic central London venue on Wednesday evening. Modi will hold separate bilateral meetings with the leaders of the other four Nordic countries on the sidelines of the summit.

"In both cases, prime minister, it is your party which is in power", the letter continued. "Nordic competencies fit well with our vision for India's transformation", Modi said. Mr Modi said, his visit to London presents another opportunity for both countries to infuse fresh momentum to this growing bilateral engagement. He also asked the human rights organizations and as well as Kashmiris based in UK to largely participate in protest during the upcoming Modi's visit to the kingdom.

"Under the theme of "Living Bridge", I will also have the opportunity to meet people from various walks of life who have enriched the multi-faceted India-UK relationship", he said.

Apart from these two nations, he will also visit Germany on April 20 briefly. PM Modi, who leaves for Sweden on April 16, will be making a brief stop in Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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