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USCIRF condemns violence in New Delhi, calls for swift action


Press Trust of India Washington
Expressing concern over the violence in New Delhi, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the Government of India to take swift action for the safety of its citizens.
Expressing "grave concern" over it, the USCIRF said the Indian government should provide protection to people regardless of their faith amid reports of attack on Muslims.
"We urge the Indian government to make serious efforts to protect Muslims and others targeted by mob violence," USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
At least 27 people have been killed and over 200 injured in the violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act in the Indian capital.
"The ongoing violence we are witnessing in Delhi and the reported attacks against Muslims, their homes and shops, and their houses of worship are greatly disturbing. One of the essential duties of any responsible government is to provide protection and physical security for its citizens, regardless of faith," Tony Perkins said.
USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava too said the "brutal and unchecked violence" across Delhi cannot continue.
"The Indian government must take swift action to ensure the safety of its citizens," she said, adding that reports are mounting that the "Delhi Police have not intervened in violent attacks against Muslims, and the government is failing in its duty to protect its citizens".
"These incidents are even more concerning in the context of efforts within India to target and potentially disenfranchise Muslims across the country, in clear violation of international human rights standards," Bhargava said.
In its 2019 report, the USCIRF had classified India as a "Tier 2" country for engaging in or tolerating religious freedom violations that meet at least one of the elements of the "systematic, ongoing, egregious standard for designations as a country of particular concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act.

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First Published: Feb 27 2020 | 2:06 AM IST

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