United States presidential contender for the Democratic Party Bernie Sanders on Wednesday said American President Donald Trump’s reaction to the ongoing violence that has erupted in northeastern parts of New Delhi since Sunday was a “failure of leadership on human rights”. Sanders made the remark as violence continued in parts of India’s national Capital, with at least 34 people killed so far.

“Over 200 million Muslims call India home,” Sanders said in a tweet. “Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, ‘That’s up to India.’ This is a failure of leadership on human rights.”

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‘Deadly surge of religious intolerance horrifying’: US lawmakers voice concern on Delhi violence

Responding to Sanders, Bharatiya Janata Party’s General Secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh said that the United States lawmaker was forcing “us [Indians] to play a role in presidential elections” . “How much ever neutral we wish to be you compel us to play a role in presidential elections,” he tweeted. “Sorry to say so.... But you are compelling us.” The BJP leader’s tweet has since been deleted.

On Wednesday, several lawmakers in the United States raised concerns over the violence. Democratic Party’s contender for the United States presidential elections Elizabeth Warren condemned the violence and said: “...we must be able to speak truthfully about our values, including religious freedom and freedom of expression – and violence against peaceful protestors is never acceptable.”

United States Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal expressed shock over the violence, and described it as a “deadly surge of religious intolerance. Tagging a report on Trump evading a question on the violence in New Delhi, US lawmaker Alan Lowenthal said it was a “tragic failure of moral leadership”.

In September last year, Sanders had said India’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir after revoking its special constitutional status were “unacceptable”, and added that he was deeply concerned about the situation in the Valley.