US monitoring rise in human rights abuses in India: Antony Blinken

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 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that the United States is monitoring a rise in human rights abuses in India by some officials, in a rare direct rebuke by Washington of New Delhi.

“We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights) and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials,” Mr Blinken said in a joint press briefing with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

Mr Blinken did not elaborate. Mr Rajnath Singh and Mr Jaishankar, who spoke after Blinken at the briefing, did not comment on the human rights issue.

Mr Blinken’s remarks came days after US Representative Ilhan Omar questioned the reluctance of the US government to criticize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on human rights.

“What does Modi need to do to India’s Muslim population before we will stop considering them a partner in peace?” Ms Omar, who belongs to President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, said last week.

Several Indian states have passed or are considering anti-conversion laws that challenge the constitutionally protected right to freedom of belief.

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