Minorities attacked throughout 2021 in India: US report

The United States State Department in its annual report to the Congress on international religious freedom has found that in India in 2021 attack on members of the minority communities occurred throughout the year.

The attacks include killings, assaults, and intimidation.

The report which released on Thursday, listed scores of incidents of violence against minorities including incidents of cow vigilantism, attacks on religious places and properties owned by Muslims and anti-conversion laws in several states of India.

The report was released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.

Ambassador-At-Large For International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain said that some officials in India were “ignoring or even supporting rising attacks on people and places of worship.”

“Four state governments have laws imposing penalties against so-called forced religious conversions for the purpose of marriage although some state high courts have dismissed cases charged under this law,” the report said, while noting that ten out of 28 states in the country have laws restricting religious conversions.

The report took note of many incidents of state violence against Muslims, Christians, Dalits and Adivasis.

The report referred to allegations by two Muslim men in Jamshedpur that the police on in August 2021 forced them to strip naked and beat them up during an interrogation.

It also talked of an incident in September 2021, when a 14-year-old Christian boy from Bihar’s Gaya district died after Hindu mob threw acid on him.

It also noted that militants in Jammu and Kashmir killed civilians from Hindu and Sikh minorities, leading to “widespread fear” among the communities.

The report also made mention of incidents of hate speech against Muslims, including at a Hindu conclave at Uttarakhand’s Haridwar in December, where Hindu monks and Hindutva politicians urged Hindus to take up weapons against Muslims.

India previously rejected the US religious freedom report, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.