Human rights group hearing: US Congressmen slam Modi govt for ‘violence’ against minorities

The hearing, which began 3 pm Tuesday and lasted about an hour-and-a-half, saw the Congressmen speak about “intimidation, discrimination, harassment and violence” experienced by Muslims and Christians in India.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Washington | Updated: June 9, 2016 10:03 am
 Narendra Modi, Modi in US, Narendra Modi USA, PM Narendra Modi, Indian PM Modi, Modi, PM Modi, US India Business Council, USIBC, India-US relations, Indo-US relations, India-US ties, Indo-US ties, India News, modi news, modi in us updates Prime Minister Narendra Modi signs autographs after addressing a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reuters

Around the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his meeting with US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office Tuesday, a short distance away, at 1334 Longworth House Office Building, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearing, in which at least three US Congressmen and a group of human rights activists criticised the Modi government for the current situation of human rights in India.

The hearing, which began 3 pm Tuesday and lasted about an hour-and-a-half, saw the Congressmen speak about “intimidation, discrimination, harassment and violence” experienced by Muslims and Christians in India.

US Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican who has visited India, flagged the riots in Uttar Pradesh, violence in Odisha and the 2002 Gujarat riots and said that because of the “current climate of impunity in India, many victims may never get justice”.

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Congressman Joseph R Pitts, who is co-chairman of the commission, also said the economic growth in India “overlooks an array of troubling human rights concerns”. Talking about the plight of religious minorities, he said there is an “alarming trend” of instances of violence against religious minorities and the numbers have gone up.

Activists from Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch and some other activists also took part in the hearing, where they held the Modi government responsible for the current situation.

However, the Indian side was unfazed. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that on one hand, the PM had been invited by US Congress to address a joint meeting and on the other, “some people are having some hearing”. Asked whether human rights issues came up during the talks between Modi and Obama, Jaishankar said: “No, I do not believe the subject came up today.”

However, officials pointed out that the Indo-US joint statement said that the leaders reviewed the deepening strategic partnership between the US and India that is rooted in “shared values of freedom, democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, equal opportunities for all citizens, and rule of law”.

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  1. A
    Jun 9, 2016 at 3:13 am
    Hopefully, they could do something to declare RSS as terrorist organisation.
    1. B
      Jun 10, 2016 at 12:38 am
      Mr. Ahmad , Independent judiciary is very much alive in India unlike some other countries. You guys villainezed Modi for 16 years with all the support from Corrupt Congi's , Media and Commies. Nothing came out. If you still think Modi killed people taking him to the court and prove it. Otherwise It is time to shut up !
      1. M
        Jun 9, 2016 at 5:14 am
        Almost all of India's major spiritual leaders of various lineage have seen working with the strongest democracy of the world is a plus point and in fact is complimentary to spiritual democracy they were advocating in various shape and form. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Only the jokers derailed that opportunity in the past, God knows for what!
        1. P
          Jun 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm
          Americans should talk about their human rights history...where have the 99% aboriginal red indians evaporated since european arrived on this continent? talk about their blacks and women...US human right exists only for capitalist white men potion
          1. M
            Jun 9, 2016 at 3:50 am
            Shall we talk about the invasions of the brutal take over of the land of America by Europeans, or the situation in Ferguson or the crusades, Iraq, Arab Spring, so many events to choose from, where should we begin. They may have sme ponts, but whitness trying to discipline others, no.
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