Monday, May 27, 2024

MEA calls USCIRF “biased” entity after its annual report designates India among “Countries of Particular Concern”

India’s Ministry of External Affairs slammed the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and said it continues to publish its “propaganda” on the country “masquerading” as part of an annual report.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal on Thursday said the organisation is known to be a “biased” entity with a political agenda.

The sharp response comes as USCIRF, in its latest report, criticised India for alleged violations of religious freedom. In the annual report published on Wednesday, USCIRF expressed disappointment that India was not designated as “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC), despite the violations in meeting the legal standard.

The body has recommended to designate India as CPC since 2020.

“In 2023, religious freedom conditions in India continued to deteriorate. The government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reinforced discriminatory nationalist policies, perpetuated hateful rhetoric, and failed to address communal violence disproportionately affecting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Jews, and Adivasis (indigenous peoples),” the report found.

“Continued enforcement of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and anti-conversion and cow slaughter laws resulted in the arbitrary detention, monitoring, and targeting of religious minorities and those advocating on their behalf,” it added

“The US Commission on International Religious Freedom is known as a biased organisation with a political agenda. They continue to publish their propaganda on India masquerading as part of an annual report,” Jaiswal said in his media briefing.

“We really have no expectation that the USCIRF will even seek to understand India’s diverse, pluralistic and democratic ethos,” he added.

“Their efforts to interfere in the largest electoral exercise of the world will never succeed,” Jaiswal added.USC

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