Significant human rights abuses, religious minorities targeted in India: US State Department
In a newly released report, the US State Department slammed “significant human rights issues” and abuses in India, including the targeting of religious minorities, dissenters, and journalists.
The report was released nearly a year after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was monitoring a rise in human rights abuses in India by government, police, and prison officials.
Significant human rights issues in India have included reports of the government conducting extrajudicial killings; political prisoners or detainees; and unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists, the report added.
Advocacy groups have raised concerns over what they see as a deteriorating human rights situation in India in recent years under the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Human rights activists reported the government was allegedly targeting vocal critics from the Muslim community and using the bulldozers to destroy their homes and livelihoods” without due process, the report stated.
Federal probe agency arrests Kashmiri journalist under draconian anti-terror law
India’s federal probe agency arrested Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj under India’s draconian anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), on baseless charges of “terror funding.”
Mehraj is the senior editor at twoCircles.net, a nonprofit news platform. Mehraj was associated with the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), an organization that has repeatedly criticized the human rights abuses committed by Indian security forces in Kashmir on the orders of the federal government.
Mehraj has been arrested in the same case as renowned human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Khurram Parvez, who has been languishing in jail since 2021.
Mehraj was subjected to sustained interrogation several times in the last few years. His laptop and belongings were also confiscated.
In the three years since it revoked the special Constitutional status for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government has drastically intensified the repression of its people, including journalists and human rights defenders by subjecting them to multiple human rights violations.
50 anti-Muslim hate speech rallies held in Maharashtra state in four months
Fifty anti-Muslim hate speech rallies were held in the last four months alone in Maharashtra state, where open calls for violence against Muslims, calls for an economic boycott of Muslims, and baseless conspiracy theories against the Muslim community were floated by Hindu extremist hatemongers.
Almost all of these hate speech events were attended by BJP politicians.
Although Maharashtra Police officers were seen at the majority of the demonstrations and were spotted recording the speeches, no cases have yet been brought against any of the Hindu extremist speakers.
The speakers continue to deliver anti-Muslim hate speeches in open violation of a Supreme Court order prohibiting hate speech at such rallies.