Don’t Interfere! India says NO VISA to US Panel

After US Congress released new reports on religious freedom, New Delhi turned down visa requests for US panel members on Religious Freedom. The members of the US government panel were seeking to review India’s religious freedom. India denied them visas on the ground that no foreign agencies have the freedom to assess the constitutional rights of its citizens.

The US Congress expressed concern over the situation of India, along with that of Russia, China, Iran, and Syria.

The USCIRF reportedly were concerned about the Religious Freedom in the country after Muslims were excluded from the new citizenship law.

India however disagrees with USCIRF’s involvement in this matter, as it believes a foreign organization should not interfere or meddle with India’s citizen’s constitutionally protected rights. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of India described USCIRF’s reports and claims as “biased” and “prejudiced”. “We have also denied visas to USCIRF teams that have sought to visit India in connection with issues related to religious freedom,” said Jaishankar. He made it clear that no foreign entity can interfere in the country’s internal matters.

The USCIRF report suggests assault and discrimination against the minority Muslim population in India, regarding the CAA, which was passed in December, 2019. The report said, “Mob attacks by violent Hindu groups against minority communities, including Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumors that victims had traded or killed cows for beef.”. The USCIRF believes that India needs to be more proactive regarding this in order to further avoid any kind of violence or outrage in the country.

India, however, states that these claims made by the USCIRF are ridiculous and biased, and hold no truth to them.

 The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a U.S. federal government commission, which was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President of United States and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives of USA.

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