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Scale of human rights abuses increased under Modi: US report

By Lalit K Jha
April 25, 2024 22:15 IST
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An independent United States Congressional research report has alleged that the scope and scale of human rights abuses in India has increased under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Image only for representation. Photograph: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

'The Biden Administration requests $103 million in foreign assistance to India for FY2025. Congress could consider whether to condition some or all such aid on improvements in human rights and civil liberties in India,' said the brief 'India: Human Rights Assessment' report released by the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) on Wednesday.

CRS is an independent research wing of the US Congress, which prepares reports on issues of importance for the members of the Congress for them to make informed decisions.


The latest CRS report comes days after the State Department's 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in which it said India is the site of numerous human rights abuses, many of them serious, some seen to be perpetrated by state and federal governments or their agents.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal on Thursday described the State Department report as 'deeply biased' and said it reflects a poor understanding of India.

'We attach no value to it and urge you to do the same,' he said at his weekly media briefing in Delhi.

'The United Nations, other intergovernmental organisations, and numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have conveyed similar concerns. The reported scope and scale of abuses has increased under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, particularly since their reelection in 2019,' CRS said in its latest three-page report.

CRS report comes in the wake of a series of articles being published in the American media that are very critical of the human rights situation in India.

According to CRS, the 2023 Human Rights Report for the first time includes a section on India's 'transnational repression against individuals in another country', noting reports the government engaged in transnational repression against journalists, members of diaspora populations, civil society activists, and human rights defenders.

Two resolutions have been introduced on India's human rights. House Resolution 542 condemns alleged human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. It was introduced in the House in June 2023.

Senate resolution number 424 expresses the sense of the Senate that the US government engage New Delhi 'to seek a swift end to the persecution of, and violence against, religious minorities and human rights defenders in India and a reversal of government policies that discriminate against Muslims and Christians based on their respective faiths'.

It was introduced in the Senate in October 2023.

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Lalit K Jha
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