US Concerns Violence and Discrimination Against Religious Minorities in India | India News
WASHINGTON: Expressing concern about the alleged killings, assaults, discrimination and actions against religious and ethnic minorities in India, the United States Government in an official report to Congress On Wednesday he said US officials discussed with their Indian counterparts issues related to the CAA, the difficulties faced by religious NGOs and allegations that Muslims spread the Covid-19 virus.
By mandate of the United States Congress, the ‘2020 Report on International Religious Freedom’ documenting the main cases of violation of religious freedom around the world was published by the Secretary of State Antony blink on Wednesday.
India has previously rejected US religious freedom reports, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to rule on the status of its citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.
The India section of the report says that US officials, including those at the Embassy, during meetings with their Indian counterparts emphasized the importance the United States places on religious freedom and the responsibility of democracies to guarantee the rights of religious minorities. .
“Among the issues discussed are Muslim community concerns about the CAA, difficulties faced by religious NGOs in the wake of the FCRA amendments, and allegations that Muslims spread the Covid-19 virus,” he said.
“There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions that restrict people’s right to practice and speak about their religious beliefs,” said the Department of State report.
He said that the Constitution of India establishes freedom of conscience and the right of all people to profess, practice and propagate religion freely; orders a secular state; requires the state to treat all religions fairly; and prohibits discrimination based on religion.
It also states that citizens must practice their faith in a way that does not adversely affect public order, morals, or health. Ten of the 28 states have laws restricting religious conversions, he said.
“In February, ongoing protests related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019, which excludes Muslims from expedited naturalization provisions granted to migrants of other faiths, turned violent in New Delhi after the protesters will attack protesters. According to reports, religiously motivated attacks occurred in the deaths of 53 people, mostly Muslim, and two security officers, “he said.
According to the CAA, members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014, after religious persecution, will obtain Indian citizenship.
The Indian government has been emphasizing that the new law will not deny any citizenship rights, but has been implemented to protect oppressed minorities in neighboring countries and give them citizenship.
According to the State Department, there were reports from NGOs that the government sometimes failed to prevent or stop attacks against religious minorities. “Political party leaders made inflammatory public comments or posts on social media about religious minorities,” he alleged.
“Attacks on members of minority religious communities, based on accusations of cow slaughter or meat trading, occurred throughout the year. That ‘cow vigilantism’ included murder, assault and intimidation,” the report says.
The State Department said NGOs, including religious organizations, criticized amendments passed in September to the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) for limiting civil society by reducing the amount of foreign funding that NGOs, including organizations religious, could be used for administrative purposes. and the addition of onerous supervision and certification requirements.
“The government said that the law strengthened oversight and accountability for financing foreign NGOs in the country,” the report said.
In February, the government canceled the FCRA licenses of five Christian-linked NGOs, cutting off their foreign funding.
In September, the NGO Amnesty International India ceased operations in the country after the government froze its bank accounts in response to an FCRA investigation that the NGO said was motivated by its reports critical of the government.
The Indian Home Office has said that Amnesty International had received permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) only once and that too 20 years ago (on 19 December 2000). Since then, he said, the organization, despite its repeated requests, has been denied approval of the FCRA by successive governments since, under the law, it is not eligible for it.
The report also says that in September, a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation acquitted the 32 people, including former BJP politicians, charged in the case of the 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The CBI The court ruled that the demolition of the mosque was a “spontaneous act” and there was no evidence of a conspiracy. PTI LKJ ZH AKJ
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