PM's statement prior to his departure to Sweden and UK

Such incidents can’t be part of civilised society’ Modi speaks very briefly on Kathua Unnao rapes

The two meetings with Modi will be seen as part of efforts by Britain to emphasise its eagerness to forge closer ties with India, amid growing scepticism and concern about Britain's ability to secure lucrative post-Brexit trade deals.

On 17th April, I will be in Stockholm on the invitation of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

"I am confident that these visits to Sweden and United Kingdom will be useful in enhancing our engagement with these countries". The Prime Minister was referring to the gangrape of 17-year-old Unnao girl by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and gangrape rape and murder case of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in J&K's Kathua by eight men in a Hindu temple.

The PM will visit the United Kingdom from April 17-20 for a bilateral visit and to attend the CHOGM. It will be only the second time that all five Nordic countries will have a summit with one country, the only other time was with the U.S. during Barack Obama's term.

The huge crowd that had congregated at Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's event was taken by surprise when Modi, who was slated to present a pair of slippers to a tribal woman, bent down and helped the bare-footed woman wear her gifted footwear. On Tuesday, Modi will call on the king of Sweden before heading to a "restricted" meeting with the Swedish PM before formal delegation talks. The information was later confirmed by the External Affairs Ministry.

Following his meeting with Theresa May, the prime minister will head to the Science Museum in London to visit the "5000 Years of Science and Innovation" exhibition and interact with Indian-origin and other scientists and innovators based in the UK. Earlier, he launched India's first wellness centre under Ayushman Bharat in Chhattisagrh.

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He said, Sweden is a valuable partner in India's development initiatives.

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

"We are the fourth largest investor and the second largest job creator in the UK", Naidu said.

On the sidelines of the "unprecedented" welcome, PM Modi will also be greeted with some protests at Parliament Square on Wednesday afternoon, being spearheaded by Pakistani-origin peer, Lord Ahmed, and bringing together UK-based Kashmiri and Sikh groups.

Prime Minister Modi has never given a press conference since assuming office and he remains seemingly reluctant to speak up about issues such as lynching of suspected cattle smugglers and the two recent rape cases.

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