A leader in the Britain’s Opposition Labour Party has criticised the Indian government over violent attacks on Muslims in recent times and called on his country’s government to respond to the “extremely worrying situation”, PTI reported on Sunday.
Jonathan Ashworth, a Labour Party MP from Leicester South and a member of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow Cabinet, wrote to Foreign Secretary and prime ministerial hopeful Jeremy Hunt last week on the matter after many of his constituents said they were concerned that the Indian government was not doing enough.
“I have been contacted by members of Muslim communities in my constituency in regard to the ongoing violent attacks on Muslims in India,” Ashworth wrote. “The situation in India is extremely worrying, there have been reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had engaged with India on a number of human rights matters to build capacity and share expertise, and condemned any instance of discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, “regardless of the faith or country involved”.
Last month, an official report prepared by the United States said mob attacks by “violent extremist Hindu groups” against minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018. The report alleged that some senior officials of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had made inflammatory speeches against minority communities. The Ministry of External Affairs rejected the report and said India was proud of its secular credentials and its status as “the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a longstanding commitment to tolerance and inclusion”.
Last month, a man in Assam was arrested for allegedly being involved with a group that forced some Muslim youths to chant “Jai Sri Ram” in the state’s Barpeta district. In Jharkhand, a 24-year Muslim man was lynched by a mob in Seraikela Kharsawan district on June 18. In Kolkata, a madrasa teacher was pushed off a train for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Similar attacks were reported from Unnao and Muzaffarnagar districts in Uttar Pradesh, and Ranchi in Jharkhand this month.