Some officers in India are ignoring and even supporting rising assaults on folks and locations of worship within the nation, a United States official mentioned late on Thursday after the discharge of a report on non secular freedom globally in 2021.
The report mentioned assaults on members of non secular minority communities, together with killings, assaults, and intimidation, had occurred all through final yr in India. These included cow vigilantism — assaults on non-Hindus for allegedly slaughtering cows or buying and selling in beef.
Most Hindus, who account for about 80 per cent of India’s 1.three billion folks, think about cows sacred.
Many states dominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist get together have enacted legal guidelines or toughened outdated ones towards slaughtering cows.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the report confirmed non secular freedom and the rights of non secular minorities have been underneath risk all over the world.
“For instance, in India, the world’s largest democracy and residential to a terrific variety of faiths, we have seen rising assaults on folks and locations of worship,” Blinken mentioned.
Rashad Hussain, who leads the US State Division’s efforts to watch non secular freedom all over the world, mentioned some Indian officers have been “ignoring and even supporting rising assaults on folks and locations of worship”.
India’s international ministry mentioned the nation values non secular freedom and human rights, and that it had famous the “ill-informed feedback by senior US officers”.
“It’s unlucky that vote financial institution politics is being practiced in worldwide relations,” ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned in an announcement.
He additionally mentioned Indian officers have commonly highlighted “racially and ethnically motivated assaults, hate crimes and gun violence” in the USA.
Disputes between non secular communities in India over locations of worship have flared ever because the nation received independence from British rule in 1947, however they’ve turn out to be extra widespread in recent times. Muslims make up round 13computer of India’s inhabitants.