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Partially Free Rating: Center’s 7-Point Rebuttal to US Watchdog Report | India News

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NEW DELHI: The government on Friday rejected as “misleading, incorrect and misplaced” a report by a US-based think tank that downgraded India’s status as a “free country” to “partially free.”
In a point-by-point rebuttal of the report, the broadcasting and information ministry cited India’s federal structure where free and fair elections are held in states ruled by different parties.

“This reflects the functioning of a vibrant democracy, which gives space to those with different points of view,” the statement said.
According to the “Freedom in the World” report published by the Washington-based organization, India slipped through the rankings this year due to alleged discrimination against Muslims and increased harassment of government critics and journalists.
The report listed several events in 2020, such as religious riots in Delhi, the use of sedition laws against critics and the hardships suffered by migrant workers after Prime Minister Modi announced a sudden lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a point-by-point rebuttal from the government:
Discriminatory policies against Muslims
The government said due process of law is followed in matters related to public order, regardless of the identity of the alleged instigator.
“With specific reference to the riots in North East Delhi in January 2020, the law enforcement mechanism acted swiftly, impartially and fairly. Proportionate and appropriate measures were taken to control the situation. The law enforcement mechanism took legal and preventive measures. necessary in all complaints / calls received, according to the law and procedures, “the statement said.
Sedition law
On the use of the sedition law to allegedly silence critics, the government said: “The responsibility to maintain public order, including the investigation, registration and prosecution of crimes, the protection of life and property, etc., falls mainly on the state governments concerned. Therefore, the law enforcement authorities take whatever measures are deemed appropriate to preserve public order. ”
Closure and migration crisis
In response to the migration crisis triggered by the Covid-induced shutdown last year, the government said it was fully aware that people should not suffer undue distress during the period of an “unavoidable shutdown.”
The statement listed several measures taken by the government to address the post-closure situation in the country.
The government said it took steps such as allowing states to use the State Disaster Response Fund, allowing migrant workers to participate in various activities outside containment areas, announcing a Rs 1.7 lakh crore aid package, providing free rations. to the poor, increase daily wages or workers, etc.
Human rights organizations
Addressing human rights concerns, the government said that the Indian Constitution provides adequate safeguards under various statutes, including the Human Rights Protection Act 1993, to ensure the protection of human rights.
“This Law provides for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commissions in the States for a better protection of human rights and for matters related to this issue. The National Commission is headed by a judge of the Court Supreme is retired and works as a mechanism to investigate, investigate and make recommendations in cases where it is determined that there is a violation of human rights in the country, “he said.
Journalist safety
In response to questions about the repression of dissent and the safety of journalists in the country, the government said that discussion, debate and dissent are part of Indian democracy and that the Constitution establishes freedom of expression under of article 19.
He said the government attaches the utmost importance to the safety of all residents of the country, including journalists.
“The government has issued a special notice to the states and territories of the Union on the safety of journalists asking them to strictly enforce the law to ensure the safety of the media,” he said.
Internet shutdown
On the issue of internet cuts in the country, the government said that the decision to temporarily suspend telecommunications or internet services is made with the general objective of maintaining law and order under strict safeguards.
“These temporary suspensions need the authorization of the Secretary of the Government of India, in the Ministry of the Interior, in the case of the Central Government; or the Secretary, in charge of the Department of the Interior, in the case of a State Government. In addition, any of those orders is reviewed by the Review Committee, constituted in the Central or State Government, under the chairmanship of the Secretary of Government of India or the Principal Secretary of the State concerned, respectively, within a specified period of time, “the statement saying.
Freezing International AmnestyAssets of
In defending the decision to freeze Amnesty International’s assets, the government said the human rights NGO violated the law by circumventing the regulations of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act 2010 (FCRA) and receiving foreign funds remitted through the IED route by Amnesty International, UK.
He said that the last time Amnesty India was granted prior permission to receive foreign funding was on December 19, 2000.
“Since then, Amnesty International India, despite its repeated requests, has been denied FCRA approval by successive governments as under the law it is ineligible,” he said.

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