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Business News/ News / India/  US report flags 'significant abuses' in India, harassment of media and minorities
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US report flags 'significant abuses' in India, harassment of media and minorities

The US State Department's human rights assessment found abuses in Manipur state, with over 60,000 displaced. In the rest of India, media outlets critical of the government faced harassment.

US rights report on India cites abuses in Manipur, harassment of media and minorities. (AFP)Premium
US rights report on India cites abuses in Manipur, harassment of media and minorities. (AFP)

The US State Department has released its annual human rights assessment report that found “significant abuses" in India's northeast state Manipur last year and attacks on minorities, journalists, and dissenting voices in the rest of the country. 

More than 60,000 people were displaced between May and November in Manipur last year, the report revealed, adding that the rest of the country had "numerous instances" in which the government and its allies "allegedly pressured or harassed media outlets critical of the government. 

In Manipur, the Meitei majority and the Kuki-Zo tribes have been engaged in violent clashes since a previous court ruling a year ago that recommended the Kuki minority privileges be extended to the Meitei. Over 200 people died in Manipur violence

The report also cited an example of Income Tax Department searches at BBC offices in 2023 after the company released a documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Government of India said the search was not vindictive. 

Religious minorities in India reported persecution, including calls for violence and the dissemination of false information, according to the US assessment. For the first time, Reporters Without Borders placed India at number 161 out of 180 nations in its 2023 report on press freedom. 

Human rights organizations alleged that under PM Modi, the situation has gotten worse like there has been an increase in hate speech; Kashmir, which has a majority of Muslims, lost its special status; a citizenship law that the United Nations has labeled as "fundamentally discriminatory"; and Muslim properties have been demolished in an effort to remove illegal building, Reuters reported. 

While the US report covered topics that have come up recently, political observers claim Washington is being cautious in its public criticism of New Delhi because it believes India will serve as a check on China's aggressive expansion.

 

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 01:04 PM IST
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