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Ex-VP Hamid Ansari, 4 US lawmakers raise alarm over ‘rights abuses’ in India

New Delhi, January 27

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari, a US Senator and three Members of the US Congress have expressed concern over the alleged violation of human rights, political liberties and religious freedom in India under PM Narendra Modi.

Religious bias

India is experiencing emergence of practices that want to distinguish on the basis of faith. — Hamid Ansari, Ex-VP

Scary scenario

The Modi government is making efforts to peel back the rights of religious minorities. — Ed Markey, US Senator

US Congressman Jim McGovern, Co-Chair of the powerful Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, listed several warning signs that showed India’s allegedly alarming backsliding on human rights. He was speaking at the Special Congressional Briefing called to commemorate India’s 73rd Republic Day on January 26.

Ansari said India was “experiencing the emergence of trends and practices that wanted to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, gave vent to intolerance, insinuated otherness and promoted disquiet and insecurity”.

Others who spoke included Senator Ed Markey, Congressmen Jamie Raskin and Andy Levin, former Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Amnesty International’s Carolyn Nash. The three Congressmen had taken anti-India stand in the past too, said sources.

“The Modi government is making efforts to peel back the rights of religious minorities. As the Indian Government continues to target the practices of minority faiths, it creates an atmosphere where discrimination and violence can take root,” said Markey. Levin said he had loved India since he first travelled there when 17 years old, but was “worried over the backsliding on human rights and religious nationalism”.

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