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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

India rejects ‘deeply biased’ US religious freedom report

Criticism is usually restrained by Washington due to close economic ties
Narendra Modi. Photo via Reuters
Narendra Modi. Photo via Reuters

New Delhi on Friday rejected the US State Department’s 2023 religious freedom report on India, calling it “deeply biased” and one that does not understand the South Asian nation’s social fabric.

The report, released on Wednesday, noted violent attacks on minority groups, especially Muslims and Christians, including killings, assaults, and vandalism of houses of worship.

Criticism of India by the US is usually restrained due to close economic ties and New Delhi’s importance for Washington in countering China, political analysts say.

“As in the past, the report is deeply biased, lacks understanding of India’s social fabric, and is visibly driven by vote bank considerations and a prescriptive outlook. We, therefore, reject it,” the Indian government said on Friday.

India said the report challenged the integrity of some decisions made by the country’s judiciary and incidents were handpicked to form a pre-conceived narrative.

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The US report listed dozens of incidents, including violence in the northeastern state of Manipur that started in May 2023 and a fatal shooting of a security official and three Muslims on a train near Mumbai.

It also cited examples of attacks against Muslims based on allegations that Muslim men were participating in the slaughter of cows or beef trading.

India also said that it had officially taken up cases of hate crimes and racial attacks against its citizens and other minorities in US. “However, such dialogues should not become a licence for foreign interference in other polities,” the government statement said.

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Narendra Modi

US State Department