US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday expressed concern over “rise in human rights abuses” in India by some officials, in a rare criticism by Washington of India’s human rights track record.
Blinken, US President’s chief foreign affairs adviser was speaking in a joint press meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Indian Counterparts, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
“We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights) and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials,” remarked Blinken
Singh and Jaishankar, who spoke after Blinken at the briefing, did not touch upon the human rights issue raised by Blinken.
Blinken’s remarks came days after US Legislator Ilhan Omar questioned the alleged reluctance of the Biden led US Administration to criticize Modi led BJP government on human rights abuses.
“How much does the Modi administration have to criminalise the act of being Muslim in India for us to say something,” Omar questioned the US government in a Congressional hearing.
The statement by Omar came after a wave of anti-Muslim campaigns were launched by far-right Hindutva outfits in India. Hindutva hate campaigns targeted religious practices, places of worship and the subsistence of Indian Muslims. Recently, anti-Muslim violence erupted in at least eight states in India as Hindutva outfits rallied for Ram Navami celebrations.
Anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise in India as lynchings and assaults on the livelihood of Muslims have become a daily occurrence.