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Designate India as ‘country of greatest concern’: US religious freedom watchdog to Biden administration

He added that “New Delhi is said to have participated in the killing of Khalistan separatists Hardeep Singh Nijjar inView post Canada and the plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the United States were extremely difficult”, USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schneck said the cases “represent a major escalation in India’s efforts to suppress religious minorities and human rights activists in its country and outside.”

“We call on the Biden administration to recognize the Indian government’s egregious violations of religious freedom and name it a country of grave concern (CPC),” Schneck said.

“International oppression occurs when countries use fear, cruelty, or violence against those living outside their borders. Often, political and human rights activists in different countries often fight journalists, journalists, and religious and ethnic groups. few. In extreme cases, methods include incarceration, revenge against family members, kidnapping, or, as India has shown, execution,” USCIRF said.

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Secrets Tips

The United States Religious Freedom Association also reported that the US Department of Justice had been tipped off in November accusing an Indian citizen Planning and leading a plot, from India, to kill Khalistan separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York. The Indian citizen, according to the accusations against him, works with a 52-year-old Indian citizen, Nikhil Gupta, also known as Nick, who was arrested by the authorities in Czechoslovakia on June 30 this year and is accused of murder. assassination plot.

“Indian authorities have used spyware and cyberbullying to harass and intimidate journalists and foreign activists representing religious minorities,” it said.

USCIRF Commissioner David Curry said “Indian authorities, within their borders, have used strict laws like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and anti-conversion laws to systematically target religious minorities, journalists, and activists.” He added that “extending this repression to religious minorities from India living abroad, including the intimidation of journalists, is dangerous and cannot be ignored.”

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USCIRF also urged the US government “to continue to engage with Indian authorities and international partners to ensure that religious minorities can survive and express themselves without fear of recrimination, whether in India or elsewhere.”

In response to the accusations of the US of the anti-genocide scheme, New Delhi last month said it was “worrisome” and “contrary to the policy of the Indian government”.

In its 2023 annual report on religious freedom, USCIRF asked the US State Department to designate India as a “country of concern” in terms of religious freedom along with several other countries. USCIRF has been making similar recommendations to the State Department since 2020, which have not yet been approved.

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