No let up in attacks on religious minorities in India: US State Department

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Washington, June 03 (KMS): The US State Department has expressed concern over continued attacks on religious minorities and their places of worship in India in the year 2021.

In its annual report to the Congress on international religious freedom, the US State Department said that in India in 2021 attacks on members of the minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout the year. It said these attacks included incidents of ‘cow vigilantism’ against non-Hindus based on allegations of cow slaughter or trade in beef.

This is the second time in less than two months that the US has directly expressed uneasiness about a rising trend in human rights violations in India.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who released the report at the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters on Thursday, asserting that Washington will continue to defend religious freedom around the world, said the number of attacks on religious figures and places of worship in India has increased.

The report further said that the police arrested non-Hindus for making comments in the media or on social media that were considered offensive to Hindus or Hinduism. The report says most of the incidents were reported in states ruled by the BJP and included attacks on pastors, disruption of worship services, and vandalism. It mentions the Haridwar Dharma Sansad and militant Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand’s role in it.

The report also touches on the impact of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Assam National Register of Citizens, and how they resulted in Muslims feeling discriminated against. It also noted Delhi Police’s investigation into the February 2020 anti-Muslim riots in northeast Delhi and opposition and courts’ reservations against it. The report also mentions UP CM Adityanath’s remarks against Muslims, in addition to listing in detail several crimes that arose out of religious discrimination.

The annual report is compiled by the US State Department, based on inputs from their embassies located around the world. While concerns about rising violations of human rights in India are listed routinely in the annual editions of the report, they have never been mentioned orally by the top diplomat of the US state department – till now.

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Disclaimer: No let up in attacks on religious minorities in India: US State Department - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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