India raises human rights concerns in US

India raises human rights concerns in US

New Delhi responded to the US Secretary of State’s comment on its human rights record.

India has said it is tracking human rights abuses in the US, including those that target Indian Americans. The statement came after Washington criticized New Delhi’s human rights record.

“We address human rights issues when they arise [in the US] especially when they belong to our community,” Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Wednesday.

“And, in fact, we had a case yesterday,” the minister said, referring to recent attacks on members of the Sikh community in New York.

On Tuesday, two men were beaten with fists and a stick on Richmond Hill in Queens, police said. The victims were hospitalized. The incident, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime, occurred a week after another Sikh man was attacked in the same area. He was left with a broken nose and severe bruises.

“Sikhs have repeatedly faced this kind of violence, now multiple times in this very place this month alone,” Nikki Singh, senior policy and advocacy manager for the US Sikh Coalition group, in a statement. Hate crimes against Sikhs increased 82% between 2019 and 2020, from 49 to 89, according to the FBI.

Jaishankar’s statement came in response to comments made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday. He said that Washington was “follow-up on some recent worrying developments in India, including an increase in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials.”

“People are entitled to their opinions about us. But we have the same right to have points of view… about the interests and the pressure groups and [voters] that drive that,” Jaishankar dijo.

On Tuesday, the State Department released its annual report on human rights around the world, criticizing New Delhi for “lack of accountability for official misconduct…at all levels of government.”

Melissa Galbraith
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