News: United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a U.S. federal government commission recommended India to be designated as “country of particular concern”. The recommendation came in light of India engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations as defined by International Religious Freedom Violations. As a federal body USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress.
Here are five components of the report
- The report highlighted that the national government led by BJP “allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity, and also engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence”.
- It took cognizance of the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), and National Population Register (NPR) as the first step toward a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC). As 1.9 million residents including both Muslims and Hindus have been rendered homeless with the NRC, the report cited three United Nations (U.N.) Special Rapporteurs who warned that exclusion from the NRC could result in “statelessness, deportation, or prolonged detention.”
- CAA would make Muslims “stateless”. It also revealed the government complicity in the violence against anti-CAA protesters as the report says, “BJP chief minister Yogi Adityanath pledged revenge against anti-CAA protestors and stated they should be fed bullets, not biryani”.
- The report further, notes, “Government has created a culture of impunity for nationwide campaigns of harassment and violence against religious minorities”. Mob lynchings, extra-judicial killings and witch-hunting by police have become a norm even against Christians.
- It recommends to the U.S. government to sanction Indian government agencies and officials responsible, to strengthen the U.S. Embassy’s and consulates’ engagement with religious communities, local officials, and police.