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Communal incidents dropped during NDA rule, says Rijiju

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New Delhi: Junior minister for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju  claimed that there had been a “substantial” drop in the number communal incidents since the BJP-led NDA government assumed power in 2014.

Replying to a barrage of questions on communal incidents, Rijiju further said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that comparing incidents would not address the issue.

Mentioning that only four major incidents took place since NDA came to power, Rijiju said, he would refrain from commenting on the incidents that occurred during the UPA regime.

However, he said that there had been a rise in incidents between 2014 and 2015, but the numbers were less than those during the UPA rule.

He mentioned that in 2014, 133 incidents took place in UP, followed by Maharashtra’s 97. While  Rajasthan reported  72 incidents, Madhya Pradesh had 56 and Karnataka 73. Gujarat, Bihar and West Bengal reported 74, 61 and 16 respectively.

Notably, 650 communal incidents occurred between January and October with UP topping the charts with 139 occurrences.

Rijiju rubbished allegations from the Opposition that communal incidents occur in the state where BJP is in power.

In 2013, during the UPA rule, 694 communal incidents took place in the first 10 months.

The most devastating incident was the Muzaffarnagar riots where over 65 persons were killed and several others were either injured or rendered homeless.

Notably, over 600 incidents of communal tensions occurred in the years 2011 and 2012.

However, the BJP-led central government mentioned only two such communal incidents as significant. The killing of Akhlaq in Dadri in September this year for allegedly slaughtering a cow and the violence in Atali village, Ballabhgarh last May was termed as significant. The arson of a disputed mosque in Atali village triggered a riot and forced the bulk of the Muslim population to flee.

The Home Ministry shared a report on the communal violence with the members of the Standing Committee on Home.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Stop Lecturing And Demonizing India over its Plan to Deport 40,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims: Minister

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming centuries-old roots

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Rohingya refugee girl
Rohingya refugee watch children attend madrass in a temporary shelter on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Wednesday, Aug.16,2017. VOA
  • Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have slammed India’s deportation plan as “outrageous”
  • The government says the Rohingya Muslims are illegal immigrants and should deported because they pose a potential security threat
  • There is no other country in the world which hosts so many refugees, so don’t demonize us, don’t give us lecture
Rights groups should stop lecturing and demonizing India over its plan to deport 40,000 stateless Rohingya and recognize that the country has treated millions of refugees from across the world humanely, a senior official said this week.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing government says the Rohingya Muslims who have fled to India because of persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar are illegal immigrants and should deported because they pose a potential security threat.

“India is the most humane nation in the world,” said junior interior minister Kiren Rijiju, defending an order to states to identify and deport the Rohingya — including 16,500 registered with the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

“There is no other country in the world which hosts so many refugees, so don’t demonize us, don’t give us lecture,” Rijiju said.

Hundreds of thousands have fled Myanmar, where they are marginalized and sometimes subjected to communal violence, with many taking refuge in Bangladesh — and some then crossing a porous border into Hindu-majority India.

FILE - Children of Rohingya refugees attend a temporary school run by a nongovernmental organization at a camp for Rohingyas in New Delhi, India, Aug. 16, 2017.
FILE – Children of Rohingya refugees attend a temporary school run by a nongovernmental organization at a camp for Rohingyas in New Delhi, India, Aug. 16, 2017. VOA

On Monday, Myanmar security forces intensified operations against Rohingya insurgents, following three days of clashes with militants in the worst violence involving the Muslim minority in five years.

Indian minister Rijiju said registration with the UNHCR was irrelevant.

India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, which spells out states’ responsibilities toward refugees. Nor does it have a domestic law to protect refugees.

ALSO READ: Refugees in India Looming For Basic Rights: Here Is Why India Needs Refugee Law! 

The Rohingya will be sent back from India in a humane way, following due legal processes, Rijiju added.

“We are not going to shoot them, nor are we planning to throw them in the ocean,” he said Monday.

Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have slammed India’s deportation plan as “outrageous.”

Asia’s third-largest economy is bound by customary international law — the principle of non-refoulement — where it cannot forcibly return refugees to a place where they face danger, they say. (VOA)

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We need to take Action Against the ‘Communal Violence in the name of Cow’ : PM Narendra Modi

The issue has raised concerns as the targets of such violence have been minority members and Dalits

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Gau Mata
Indian cow. Pixabay
  • Modi sought opposition support in fighting the issue of violence done in the name of cow protection
  • Modi also asked the opposition to support the government in conducting business in both the Houses “without disruption”
  • The issue has raised concerns as the targets of such violence have been minority members and Dalits

New Delhi, July 16, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the “issue of communal violence in the name of cow protection” needed to be tackled sternly and asked state governments to act “very tough” against those taking law in their own hands.

At an all-party meeting ahead of Parliament’s monsoon session that begins on Monday, Modi told MPs that law and order was a state subject and as such the state governments needed to act strictly against those committing violence in the name of cow protection.

In his address to floor leaders of parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Modi sought opposition support in fighting the issue of violence done in the name of cow protection.

The issue has raised concerns as the targets of such violence have been minority members and Dalits.

The Prime Minister “urged all parties to extend their support to the government in fighting corruption and the issue of communal violence in the name of cow protection”, said an official statement issued after the meeting in Parliament House premises.

ALSO READ: Gau Bharat Bharti: A Multilingual National Weekly Newspaper Dedicated to Holy Cows

Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar briefed the media and said Modi sought strict action against those people who were inciting tension in the name of cow.

“The central government has sent advisories to the state governments. Law and order is a state subject. As such, very tough action should be taken against those indulging in violence in the name of cow protection,” Ananth Kkumar said, quoting the Prime Minister as saying at the meeting.

Modi said some political parties were painting cow protection with communal colour and taking political advantages which does not benefit the country.

“A race has begun to score political mileages after painting cow protection with communal colours. This will do no good to the country. Everyone should come together and put an end to it (cow vigilantism),” the Prime Minister told all parties.

“There is a law on cow protection in the country. But committing crimes in the name of cow protection out of personal animosities cannot be tolerated,” Modi said.

The opposition has vowed to raise the issue in Parliament, seeking answers from the government on what it was doing to end the violence that has claimed many lives — mostly Muslims and Dalits — in the country.

Modi also asked the opposition to support the government in conducting business in both the Houses “without disruption”.

Without mentioning India’s military standoff with China in the Sikkim sector and worsening security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister asserted that all political parties stood united to ensure “nation’s safety and security after such concerns were raised by many leaders on recent developments”, the statement said. (IANS)

 

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Increasing hate crimes against Indian diaspora a serious cause of concern for government: MEA

MEA spokesperson says that Government is taking up the issue of safety of Indian diaspora very seriously

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indian diaspora
A memorial for a hate crime victim; (representational Image) Source: Wikimedia

New Delhi, Mar 14, 2017: Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian engineer was killed in a hate attack in Kansas on February 22. India raised this with the US authorities on very strong terms, as reported by a top official to Zee News. The MEA official further said that the safety of Indian diaspora and Indians is a matter of serious concern for the Indian government.

The issue was majorly raised in the Parliament, following which Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister assured the House of the People that the Government is taking this issue very seriously. Gopal Baglay, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was conveyed by US officials during his talks in Washington that the attack on Kuchibhotla and another Indian in the February 22 incident was an “individual case”.

The number of graves increases as hate crimes rise; Source: VOA

The Indian Consulate reached out to the families of Alok Madasani and Kuchibhotla, who were injured in the shooting in a Kansan pub on 22nd February, also offering support to the family of Deep Rai, a sikh and an American Citizen, injured in a hate attack in Kent last week, said Baglay.

“You would have also seen the response of the US authorities, beginning with President Trump who referred to the Kansas incident in his address to the Congress. The US Embassy had put out a press release condemning the Kansas killing. Speaker of the House has also condemned it,” said the spokesperson, pointing out the wide ranging condemnation of such crimes within the US.

“This point has also been highlighted by various prominent US dignitaries that such crimes do not represent the views of the vast majority in that country. In fact, several senior US dignitaries have explicitly mentioned in the recent days that Indians are welcome in the United States,” he added.

“Given the high priority the Government attaches to the security and wellbeing of Indians and persons of Indian origin abroad, we will continue to remain strongly engaged with the concerned authorities wherever required.”

A memorial for a hate crime victim; Source: Wikimedia

Baglay also said that the Kansas Government has offered to provide support the Kuchibhotla’s family and has welcomed Indians to the State.

Referring to Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback’s letter, he said, “there is a sense of regret at the unfortunate shooting, commitment to prosecute the matter, support to the family of the deceased, and recognition of the qualities and contribution of Srinivas to Kansas.”

Sam Brownback wrote a letter to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India expressing regret over the violence against Indians.

Harnish Patel, another Indian was killed 10 days ago in South Carolina. However, the killing was not identified as a hate crime.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf