India witnessing increasing attacks on shrines: Blinken | India News

NEW DELHI: India is seeing increasing attacks on places of worship, said US secretary of state Antony Blinken Thursday while releasing the latest US report on religious freedom around the world. Another senior US official said some Indian officials are ignoring or even supporting such attacks.
Blinken spoke about how the report highlights violation of rights in Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and other countries, while adding in the same breath that the report, beyond these countries, also documents how religious freedoms and the rights of religious minorities are under threat in communities around the world.
For example, he said, “In India, the world’s largest democracy and home to a great diversity of faiths, we have seen rising attacks on people in places of worship. ”
Rashad Hussain, the US ambassador at large for international religious freedom, added: “In India, some officials are ignoring or even supporting rising attacks on people and places of worship. ”
The annual report by the state department, also known as the International Religious Freedom Report, describes the status of religious freedom, government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and “US policies promoting religious freedom in nearly every country and territory throughout the world”.
Blinken, after the recent 2+2 dialogue, had said in a joint press conference with foreign minister S Jaishankar that the US is “monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials”. Jaishankar had responded later by saying that India too has its views about human rights in the US.
In the report released Thursday, the state department pointed to laws restricting religious conversions, quoted accounts of discrimination against Muslims and Christians, and said that “politicians made inflammatory public remarks or social media posts about religious minorities”.

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