Minority rights, NGO crackdown raised at UN meet, India says freedoms secure

Concept of torture alien to our culture: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published:May 5, 2017 5:17 am
India human rights issues, UN Human Rights Council, India minority rights, India NGO crackdown, India women's right, India news, India UN meet, Indian express Several countries expressed concerns on India’s FCRA laws, incidents of religious intolerance, women’s rights and even racism

From complaints of eroding minority rights and religious intolerance to the crackdown against NGOs, women’s rights to LGBT rights, Kashmir to Afrophobia — India’s track record on human rights came under sharp scrutiny at the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday in Geneva.

Several countries expressed concerns on India’s FCRA laws, incidents of religious intolerance, women’s rights and even racism. The Kashmir issue was also raised by Pakistan during the hearing of the third “Universal Periodic Review.” India has undergone this voluntary review twice before, in 2008 and 2012.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who presented India’s position, strongly denied the allegations. “The right to fair trial and free legal aid up to the highest court are enshrined as fundamental rights in the Constitution of India and thus guaranteed to all individuals. So much so that as the Attorney General of India, I was summoned by the Supreme Court at 2 in the morning to hear a last-ditch petition, after several rounds of litigation, by a convict who was guilty of terrorism to escape punishment (a reference to the Yakub Memon case). This shows the importance attached to upholding of human rights by India,” he told the UNHRC.

Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka backed India on its human rights record. But a group of countries, including the US, Australia, Germany, Czech Republic, Norway and Ireland, asked India to look at its FCRA laws with US saying that there is “complete lack of transparency” in the implementation which affects NGOs in India.

Germany, Vatican, Kazakhstan, Kenya, UK, South Korea and the Netherlands expressed concern over the issues of rights of religious minorities and intolerance.

Pakistan called for a stop to the use of pellet guns. India countered saying the situation in Kashmir is due to Pakistan’s actions and there is zero tolerance to terrorism.

Haiti raised the issue of “Afrophobia” which was denied by an Indian delegate who called the country a “land of Buddha” which did not have a racist mindset and said that these incidents were a case of local crime.

While Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Liechtenstein were among countries which raised concerns on women’s rights, Israel and Ireland raised the issue of equal rights for the LGBT community. Several countries asked India to ratify the convention against torture.

Leading the Indian delegation, Rohatgi said that India makes no distinction between caste, creed, colour or religion of a citizen. “India is a secular state with no state religion,” he said, adding that the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to every individual. He said the right to free speech and expression occupies its rightful place in the core of the Constitution.

“As the world’s largest multi-layered democracy, we fully recognise the importance of free speech and expression. Our people are conscious of their political freedoms and exercise their choices at every opportunity,” Rohatgi said. “We believe in peace, non-violence and upholding human dignity. As such, the concept of torture is completely alien to our culture and it has no place in the governance of the nation.”

On the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Rohatgi said the Act is applied only to disturbed areas — few and in proximity to some international borders. Several countries, including the US, raised the issue of AFSPA. “Whether this Act should be repealed or not is a matter of on-going vibrant political debate in my country,” he said.

On transgenders, Rohatgi said that India has been at the forefront of recognising their equal rights. The Supreme Court gave a landmark judgement in 2014 directing the government to declare trans-genders a “third gender” and included them as an “Other Backward Class” entitled to affirmative action benefits.

The apex court also reinforced that trans-genders should have all rights under law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession and inheritance, Rohatgi added.

Rohatgi said India seeks to ensure inclusive development and the protection of rights of vulnerable groups and it has enacted a range of laws to address sexual assault and other gender-based crimes.

“We have overhauled the legal framework for dealing with child sexual assault,” he said, adding that India remains deeply committed towards reinforcing and accelerating efforts towards combating human trafficking.

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  1. V
    vs
    May 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm
    Which western catholic country who call themselves so called 'secular' give holiday on Diwali (Hindu Festival) or ED (Muslim festival) or any buddhist festival holiday or Any Jew festival holiday or any Sikh festival holiday or any Jain festival holiday. India recognises all these festivals including Christianity and provide holidays for all religion people to celebrate their religion. This is secularism of Great India.
    Reply
    1. V
      vs
      May 7, 2017 at 6:03 pm
      Which western catholic country who call themselves so called 'secular' give holiday on Diwali (Hindi Festival) or ED (Muslim festival) or any buddhist festival holiday or Any Jew festival holiday or any Sikh festival holiday or any Jain festival holiday. India recognises all these festivals including Christianity and provide holidays for all religion people to celebrate their religion. This is secularism of Great India.
      Reply
      1. V
        V M
        May 6, 2017 at 2:38 am
        Euros still in colonial mode of dictating. They murder million people in Iraq and 400K in Syria. Then cleverly talk about human rights. Do they need to be reminded of their criminal deeds of past 2 centuries in India and else where? They advised con-gress rulers with aim of indirect control to keep India in misery and poverty created by colonials. To be Free India needs to Free itself of poverty and misery created by colonials. Remember, there are sufficient anti-nationals, who bene ed from colonial deeds. They will become less dominating in coming 20 years of Free India. Till such time India needs to progress patiently, with full vigour. Euros will change gradually to understand that they are not dictators of this world. Remember Ravan thought he was superior and undefeatable.
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        1. A
          Alok Asthana
          May 5, 2017 at 8:34 pm
          Human rights of Indian citizens, including those of hindus, are under intense attack by the government. Things are getting bad at a very rapid rate.
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          1. G
            goldenfig
            May 5, 2017 at 7:28 pm
            Indian response is statesmanlike and balanced. Well done. But the UNHCR must take a deep look in the mirror and see the track record of IAEA and WHO. They agree that they will not study the consequences of nuclear contamination of the planet(1959). Whither the rights of all life? What a raw organisation the UN is. See ECRR 2010 for the grissly m murdering details of the nuclear age by the members of the security council.
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            1. G
              goldenfig
              May 5, 2017 at 7:35 pm
              Indian express replace m by M ok? Why this hacking --I have my rights!
              Reply
              1. G
                goldenfig
                May 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm
                Again you have hacked stupid. MAD- do you know MAD-mutually ured ured ured ured destruction. Now dont convert ured to ured.
                1. G
                  goldenfig
                  May 5, 2017 at 7:38 pm
                  INdian express- you are a numbskull with no respect for human rights.
              2. S
                Sg
                May 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm
                Why cant India pay back the Western countries in the same coin? Why cant we raise the issue of sho0ting blacks like d0gs in the USA by white c0ps? What punishments were given to the white French army pers0nnel who f0rced black gir1s to mate with d0gs in Centra Africa? What measures are taken against British white go0ns who ulted b0rkha cladded muslim w0men in L0ndon? How long will India tolerate the brow beating of Western bust0rds?
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                1. P
                  Paddy Singh
                  May 5, 2017 at 1:40 pm
                  First I when a corrupt and toothless UN comes up trying to behave like a just grown up adult trying to issue dikats, no one takes it seriously India and African are hugely conservative and have their own views on LGBT. They cannot be forced to accept views of Western countries. Human rights of Blacks in the US, Palestinians in Israel, plight of refugees in Australia have all been condemned by the UN by the toothless organisation has the world done anything about it? If Texas were to try and break away from the US the authorities would not use rubber pellets but weapons far more lethal. And after what the UK and US have done in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, can they possibly be believed on what they have to say on a rogue state like N Korea? I think the UN should keep out of the affairs of every country. Remember the UN head has to have the approval of the Yanks which have among the worst human rights records. They are still not members of the ICC.
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                    Ashish Biswas
                    May 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm
                    All these years in India the majority rights went for a toss. The minority and the foreign NGOs were playing havoc with the established cultural iden y in the name of secularism. This government has taken a step in the right direction. The NGO feel that they have invested so much and they are not getting their money worth namely converting the poor. All must support the government moves.
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                    1. V
                      Vivek
                      May 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm
                      UN you should know that India is lying. This country is in grip of communal frenzy with people being killed for cow and for what they say. There is a state of undeclared emergency where right wing goons are given free reign to launch terror on minorities. This white lie of this bogus representative should be exposed and UN should step in to stop cution of minorities
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                        Against Sick
                        May 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm
                        People like you ( left) should be shown no remorse and treated the way a traitor would be treated
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                          Joydeep
                          May 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm
                          And you should go back to where you so-called aryans came from. To Central Asia.
                      2. V
                        vs
                        May 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm
                        The so called minorities in India ,the Christians and Muslims are Ras ls.They are born Indians , call themselves indians enjoy every right as other Indians but owe their alligiance to the countries of their adopted religion.This is the bitter truth.These guys dislike Hindus.Otherwise let them condemn the UN in one voice and prove their love for the country they are born and live.Bet they will not.
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                          Antony
                          May 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm
                          we dont need any patrotic certificate from any of you sanghi terrorists! the same sanghis who never parti ted in freedom struggle is talking about nationalism now! that is the biggest joke! we are born in this country and this is our country and we are going to live and die here only whether you like it or not!
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                            Ashish Biswas
                            May 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm
                            It is time to pay for all your sins
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                              Dipak
                              May 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm
                              Properly brainwashed by religious imperialists.
                          2. s
                            sam pasumarthi.
                            May 5, 2017 at 11:22 am
                            Mr.Rohatgi has given an excellent summary of human rights and equality of all citizens and the values embedded in Indian Cons ution. Congratulations and warm regards. Dr.Sam Pasumarthi. FRCS. Rtd. Consulatant surgeon & Social activist. Hyderabad. India.
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                              Joydeep
                              May 5, 2017 at 11:07 am
                              Good . Feku's real deeds getting exposed.
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                                iftiindian
                                May 5, 2017 at 10:29 am
                                Yes, mr. Rohtagi india is upholding the rights of minorities and Dalits specially since May 2014. Present government is so serious about human rights that when the government found police unable to perform this government form at least fifty militant groups including cow-terrorist, Bajrang dal, Abhinav Bharat etc, under the patronage of RSS. And to uphold human rights and protect minorities they have killed more than dozen innocent like Akhlaq, pehlu khan, mazlaum etc.
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                                  KS KUMAR
                                  May 5, 2017 at 11:02 am
                                  The cry is only by Muslims and Christians. Mr Iftiindian why are you silent about Hindus killed in Bengal and Kerala. What about Kashmiri Pandits driven out of Kashmir. Do not wear blinkers. You cannot have any more Maldas and Mallapurams. Enough.
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                                  1. V
                                    Vivek
                                    May 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm
                                    why dont you do something for Pandits? what about millenia of opression and enslavement of Dalits by upper caste hindus? such a glorious civilisation... thugs
                                2. v
                                  vijay.sharotri@gmail.com
                                  May 5, 2017 at 10:25 am
                                  India needs to introspect on the issues raised by different countries. Denial does not help. Let us face the truth and do course correction.
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                                    Ravi
                                    May 5, 2017 at 9:37 am
                                    These NGOs are terrorist Org supporters why would India be concerned pls go all out to crack down.
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                                    1. K
                                      kjingar
                                      May 5, 2017 at 9:15 am
                                      Looks, every country in the news has double standards towards terrorism. If it affects them, they have all rights, however, in case of India, they force all kinds of "human" rights etc. This is really shameful. Many countries are trying to halt development projects through NGOs, just to ensure their long term interests are secured. However, this government has rightly acted and stopped the mushroomed NGO scam. So, the world, please mind your own business. I guess, India should stop going to such places, we are power in ourselves and need not defend ourselves in front of anyone.
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                                        Antony
                                        May 5, 2017 at 9:02 am
                                        Rastogi said " India is a secular state with no state religion" ! what a joke ! 400 million minorities and dalits are living under fear due to the terror unleashed by Gauraksak, RSS, VHP and bangragdal in the name of cow which is fully supported by the current communal govt ! Beef laws and anti conversion laws are passed in sanghi ruled states only to cute the minorities and in all the cases fake FIR's are registered against the victim and their families by the sanghi police ! UN should put these sanghi organizations and their leaders under terror watch list and strong action must be taken against them by covert or overt means to avoid a genocide in india. World leaders must put pressure on modi to reign on this sanghi terror organizations from further committing attrocities against minorities!
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                                        1. R
                                          Rahul
                                          May 5, 2017 at 9:58 am
                                          "400 million minorities and dalits are living under fear due to the terror"...is it so? How come we have this huge number in the first place? Why doesn't vatican or saudi arabia have such proportions? Any answers? ANY ANSWERS???
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                                          1. J
                                            JoeKidd
                                            May 5, 2017 at 11:28 am
                                            When it suits them, the Dalits are considered part of Hindu majority. That is because as numbers, they don't need to mix. But in real life, the caste system does not allow them to be treated even at par with cows. So if generally peace loving people are pushed against a wall, they will be forced to take up arms and react.
                                            1. A
                                              Antony
                                              May 5, 2017 at 11:55 am
                                              you should come out of your chaddi school and read about the history of india before asking questions! get the gober out of your brain and travel across India and see how diverse it is ?
                                            2. R
                                              rameshnk
                                              May 5, 2017 at 11:55 am
                                              Mr.Antony you can please go to wherever you find safe for. It is minorities like christians and the so called Muslims( I do not know howthey can be called minority in the first place- See what is happening in Kashmir).Everybody knows the status of minorites in Christian majoity or Muslim majority countries. Please do not give lecture. First look within.
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                                                Antony
                                                May 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm
                                                I am a not going anywhere , this is my country and you communal divisive sanghis should get out of this great country and go to stan where you can practice kil s and play communal games with your taliban brothers!
                                              2. N
                                                N Sabesan
                                                May 5, 2017 at 7:07 pm
                                                You nut, will you say this to US where afro-americans and Indians are shot?
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                                                IslamForFooools
                                                May 5, 2017 at 8:52 am
                                                Minority is terrorist minority, traitor minority, so no more minority cry in India, its Hindu nation
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                                                  Antony
                                                  May 5, 2017 at 9:37 am
                                                  Go and read cons ution you communal sanghi with gober in your head ! India is a secular democratic state with no religion and cons ution guarentees equal rights for all its citizen irrespective of which religion or sects they belong too ! RSS chaddis doesnt have the literacy to understand the cons tion that is the problem here!
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                                                  1. S
                                                    Sishtla
                                                    May 5, 2017 at 9:53 am
                                                    The church backed conversion mafia which was running riot without any respect for the law of the land. Hence the outrage. Every one who opposes this need not be sanghi my friend.
                                                    1. R
                                                      rameshnk
                                                      May 5, 2017 at 11:57 am
                                                      Mr.Antony, what the you think you yourself. You consider yourself educated. Others are all nuts??,
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                                                        Antony
                                                        May 5, 2017 at 11:59 am
                                                        indias christian population was 2,5 percent before independence and now it is just 2.3 percent ! that says the truth about w conversion story made by RSS to kill and eliminate christians from India !
                                                    2. C
                                                      Charudatta Desai
                                                      May 5, 2017 at 8:43 am
                                                      The Hindustan is on right track now, because of Congress corrupted and influenced by others had messed in last 60years all the culture and humanity. Now will show you in few years by changing the teaching method from childhood hood.The Hindustan will be as like previous before the British government .
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                                                        JoeKidd
                                                        May 5, 2017 at 11:31 am
                                                        What has Feku done other than increase tax manifold, help his business friends who bankrolled his election to make 10 fold profits. He then restarted the Congress projects that he had opposed earlier. Our 130 Million Aadhaar Numbers Made Public. Inter community violence has jumped up manifold. We are on the verge of being a bigger T-a-l-i-ban state.
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                                                      2. K
                                                        K_S227
                                                        May 5, 2017 at 8:13 am
                                                        Ignore these fools.......UNHRC is just another dumb UN council which is powerless and hypocritical. Saudi Arabia heads an international human rights body is itself a joke. Country where women are not even allowed to drive. And the UK and US as it is want India to lose Kashmir and they've been trying their best. Just looking at BBC and The Guardian articles makes this clear. Where was UNHRC when US was invading Afghanistan, when Saudi was caught funding jihadists, when a student was lynched in stan, when Indian student was burnt alive in Australia, when Indian techie was shot dead in the US ? United States is responsible for flaming many of the territorial disputes in the world. So just shut the up and look at your own country !
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                                                          Lovely
                                                          May 5, 2017 at 8:24 am
                                                          Rightly said
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                                                            Antony
                                                            May 5, 2017 at 9:03 am
                                                            Rastogi said " India is a secular state with no state religion" ! what a joke ! 400 million minorities and dalits are living under fear due to the terror unleashed by Gauraksak, RSS, VHP and bangragdal in the name of cow which is fully supported by the current communal govt ! Beef laws and anti conversion laws are passed in sanghi ruled states only to cute the minorities and in all the cases fake FIR's are registered against the victim and their families by the sanghi police ! UN should put these sanghi organizations and their leaders under terror watch list and strong action must be taken against them by covert or overt means to avoid a genocide in india. World leaders must put pressure on modi to reign on this sanghi terror organizations from further committing attrocities against minorities!
                                                            Reply
                                                            1. R
                                                              ram
                                                              May 5, 2017 at 9:21 am
                                                              This Antony is a joker. What about illegal conversion of innocent kids in the name of God? Loot at your deeds in a mirror; read history about cruelty and atrocity of the Church in Europe, before opening your mouth in the most tolerant country on earth.
                                                            2. T
                                                              Tanbeer alam
                                                              May 5, 2017 at 9:11 am
                                                              Everything is dumb in this world expect u and ur stinking chaddi friend.u always compare India to Saudi Arabia or stan but every time forgot that we r competing them.we r in race developed countries that means u want to compare with life in european or us then that's rule must have to follow.by the way India looking permanent seat in un security if every UN agency is bakwas for then why we need that
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                                                                JoeKidd
                                                                May 5, 2017 at 11:34 am
                                                                "We are much better than S-a-u-d-i A-r-a-bia" That itself is a joke. Why do you stoop so low to compare India with SA? We are the land of khap panchayats and honor kil . We are better than all others. ha ha ha ...
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                                                                IslamForFooools
                                                                May 5, 2017 at 7:24 am
                                                                United Nations Human Rights headed by Saudi arabiya( most inhuman people on earth) , United Nations women's rights panel is headed by Saudi arabiya( most evil oppressor of women. Thi she proves UN is phony organization working against non Muslims and for Islamization of world,
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                                                                  rick patel
                                                                  May 5, 2017 at 8:23 am
                                                                  Bose dk mental patient go and take treatment
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                                                                    IslamForFooools
                                                                    May 5, 2017 at 8:51 am
                                                                    Popat mohemmed( pis b upon him, pis mens peshab)
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