US Commission on International Religious Freedom USCIRF took to their X (Twitter) handle to condemn the demolition of a Madarsa in Haldwani, Uttarakhand.
The organisation also pointed towards the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya proving that the events of Haldwani are not unfolding in isolation. The tweet said, “USCIRF is disturbed by the demolition and expropriation of mosques in India including the recent destruction of a mosque in Uttarakhand and inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on the site of the demolished Babri Mosque.”
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan US federal government agency that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress.
On Thursday, violence erupted in Haldwani after the state demolished a Madarsa in Haldwani by calling it an “illegal” construction. Later, the state issued ‘shoot-at-sight’ orders which caused the death of six people and more than 60 have been injured.
USCIRF has been maintaining a close watch on the status of religious freedom in India. It also showed its concern in 2020 over the Delhi riots and accused India of “targeting and potentially disenfranchising Muslims across the country, in clear violation of international human rights standards”
For the past four years, the USCIRF has been advising that the US administration should designate India as a ‘Country of Particular Concern,’ despite this recommendation not having been accepted since 2020.
The Ministry of External Affairs of India has been denying the claims of USCIRF for the past many years by calling them misleading and factually incorrect.
Other Indian American organisations like IAMC have also released statements against the Haldwani violence and the concerning situations of Muslims in India.