US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was monitoring ‘a rise in human rights abuses’ in India.
“We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights), and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials,” Blinken said on Monday in a joint press conference with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
Blinken did not elaborate and Indian ministers, who spoke after Blinken, did not comment on the human rights issue.
Earlier last week, the US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar had questioned the alleged reluctance of the Biden administration to criticize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government on human rights.
“What does Modi need to do to India’s Muslim population before we will stop considering them a partner in peace?” Omar said.
India has witnessed increasing attacks on minority Muslim, Christian and Dalit populations in recent years. Many critics blame the Indian Government for not taking stringent actions against the Hindutva activists who support BJP.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government increasingly harassed, arrested, and prosecuted rights defenders, activists, journalists, students, academics, and others critical of the government or its policies,” Human Rights Watch said in its recent report.
“The government continued to impose harsh and discriminatory restrictions on Muslim-majority areas in Jammu and Kashmir since revoking the state’s constitutional status in August 2019 and splitting it into two federally governed territories,” reads the HRW report.
The Indian Government has disputed the allegations.