US board wants India on religious freedom blacklist for second consecutive year

10:30 AM | 22 Apr, 2021
US board wants India on religious freedom blacklist for second consecutive year

WASHINGTON – A United States commission for the second time suggests placing India to a blacklist of countries that have failed to uphold religious rights for their citizens.

“Religious freedom conditions in India are taking a drastic turn downward, with national and various state governments tolerating widespread harassment and violence against religious minorities,” the commission report released on Wednesday cited.

The report further added that the BJP-led government forcefully passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which provides a fast track to Indian citizenship only for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan already residing in India. Critics said CAA defines Muslims as non-Indian.

The move potentially exposes millions of Muslims to detention, deportation, and statelessness when the government completes its planned nationwide National Register of Citizens, it further added.

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Modi’s regime promoted Hindu nationalist policies resulting in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom. It referred to allegations of involvement of law enforcement in violence against Muslims during deadly riots last year in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, India did not immediately respond to the recent report but earlier dismissed the recommendation in 2020. New Delhi termed it as bias and misrepresentation.