21 European MPs Write Letter Slamming PM Modi Over Abuse Of Human Rights Defenders In India
Twenty-one members of the European Parliament (MPs) slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a letter, expressing serious concern about the treatment of human rights activists in India.
The letter states that the activists have been “jailed for their peaceful work, targeted under anti-terror laws, labeled as terrorists, and [are] facing increasing restrictions,” highlighting “illegal spyware” and the “systemic use” of the anti-terror legislation Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) “to quash dissent.”
“We are also worried about the abuse of UAPA to target other HRDs (human rights defenders), such as the 18 defenders peacefully protesting against the discriminatory CAA. We are alarmed that 13 of them are still in jail, all from the minority Muslim community,” the letter stated. “We are deeply worried that prominent HRD Khurram Parvez remains in detention under the UAPA in one of the most overcrowded and unsanitary prisons in the country for his documenting of rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir.”
“We, the undersigned, therefore, call upon all Indian authorities to… immediately and unconditionally release all those detained without basis as reprisal for their human rights work,” the letter concluded.
Hindu Extremists Barge Into College And Force Hijabi Students To Leave
In an attempt to terrorize and intimidate Muslim women, Hindu extremists named Madhu and Manohar barged into a college in Karnataka state and forced hijabi students to leave the campus in the presence of school staff.
In a viral video of the incident, students were seen pleading with the Hindu extremists, asking them not to ruin their studies as their exams were drawing nearer. A student who stood up to the extremists was threatened with physical violence by the extremists.
Police have taken no action against both the men, revealing how Hindu extremist acts of aggression and violence have become normalized and even encouraged by the police and the BJP government.
Karnataka Anti-Conversion Bill To Be Tabled
The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill popularly referred to as the anti-conversion bill is set to be tabled in the Karnataka Assembly session despite the fact that the proposed bill has already caused a surge in hate crimes against minorities across the state.
On paper, the bill prohibits conversion from one religion to another “by misrepresentation, force, fraud, allurement or marriage.” However, Hindu supremacists have weaponized anti-conversion laws across India to falsely target minorities, especially Christians and Muslims, physically assault them, arrest them, and destroy their places of worship under the guise of preventing “forced conversions.”
Anti-Christian sentiment in particular has increased in Karnataka since the state government proposed the anti-conversion law earlier last year. A fact-finding report ranked Karnataka as the 3rd most anti-Christian Indian state, with 32 documented attacks between January and September 2021.