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1-min read

Centre Rejects US Report on Religious Freedom, Says Others Can't Pronounce on State of Indian Citizens

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar underlined that India is a vibrant democracy where the fundamental rights of all its citizens, including minorities, are protected under the Constitution.

News18.com

Updated:June 23, 2019, 10:47 AM IST
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Centre Rejects US Report on Religious Freedom, Says Others Can't Pronounce on State of Indian Citizens
File photo of MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
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New Delhi: India on Sunday rejected a US State Department report that stated mob attacks against the minority communities continued in India in 2018. Reacting to the report, the external affairs ministry said a foreign entity had "no locus standi" to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens.

In response to a query on the latest 'Report on International Religious Freedom' published by the State Department, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar underlined that India is a vibrant democracy where the fundamental rights of all its citizens, including minorities, are protected under the Constitution.

"We see no locus standi for a foreign entity/government to pronounce on the state of our citizens' constitutionally protected rights," he said.

Significantly, the report was released just ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to India from June 25.

"India is proud of its secular credentials, its status as the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a longstanding commitment to tolerance and inclusion," Kumar said.

"The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including its minority communities," the MEA spokesperson asserted.

"It is widely acknowledged that India is a vibrant democracy where the Constitution provides protection of religious freedom, and where democratic governance and rule of law further promote and protect the fundamental rights."

The State Department in its annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report alleged that some senior officials in the ruling BJP made inflammatory speeches against the minority communities. "Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef," it said.

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