International rights groups call for action to safeguard human rights in India
The summit, which is being jointly hosted by the United States, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Zambia, aims to preserve and strengthen democracies around the world.
The statement highlights the deteriorating state of democracy in India, citing evidence that shows a clear disregard for the rule of law and constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
The statement highlights the fact that India, often hailed as the “world’s largest democracy”, has not pledged any concrete policy initiatives to safeguard civil and political rights during the first edition of the summit in 2021.
The statement also highlights the March 2023 USCIRF report, which cites India as being a country of particular concern regarding freedom of religion and belief.
Muslim prayers disrupted again in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh during Ramadan
As part of a string of disruptions of Ramadan prayers by Hindu militants in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled-Uttar Pradesh state, another group of Hindu supremacists have unreasonably objecting to prayers being offered by Muslims in the basement of a residential building.
Several activists and concerned citizens have taken to social media to express their anguish and dismay over the fact that Muslims are being prevented from praying even in their private homes.
After the Hindu supremacist residents created a disruption outside the basement, police shut down the prayer space entirely.
Recently, members of the Hindu militant group Bajrang Dal stopped Muslims from praying inside the private property of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh state. Rather than punishing the militants for invading a Muslim’s private gathering, the local administration had imposed an unjust and heavy fine of $6,300 each on 10 of the worshippers.
Banners calling for “Hindu nation” put up ahead of festival in violence-hit city
After hardly recovering from the anti-Muslim violence it endured in 2022, this year, banners have been put up in Khargone city of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh state with the wording “Jai Hindu Rashtra” (long live the Hindu nation) ahead of Ram Navami celebrations.
The banners are being called “unconstitutional” and “provocative” by the Muslim community.
A picture of a police station in the city has also gone viral, where it can be seen loaded with saffron flags around the building. Saffron is the staple color, representing most Hindu supremacist organizations in India.
A Hindu extremist mob killed a Muslim and injured at least 24 others in anti-Muslim violence in Khargone in April 2022. They also arsoned houses and vehicles. After the violence, officials arbitrarily demolished the homes and shops of Muslims. Muslim organizations and human rights groups across India have condemned the attacks, and worry about the violence repeating this year.
A fact-finding team released a damning report saying that the BJP government was directly responsible for the communal violence in the region during Ram Navami.