US watchdog on religious freedom cites Nijjar, Pannun plots, calls for India curbs | India News – Times of India

 US watchdog on religious freedom cites Nijjar, Pannun plots, calls for India curbs | India News - Times of India

Washington: The Indian official in the killing allegedly implicated an overseas Khalistani militant and a plot to escalate the killing — before anyone was found guilty in the case — of an American The religious freedom watchdog has called on the Biden administration to declare India a foreign country. “Country of Special Concern” and restrictions under the American Religious Freedom Act.
In its annual report earlier this year, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal government commission, had already recommended that the administration target Indian government agencies and officials. impose sanctions on those responsible for serious violations of religious freedom by “freezing the assets of those individuals and/or prohibiting their entry into the United States.”
He took up the case again on Friday, saying, “The alleged involvement of the Indian government in the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh. Carpenter The plot to assassinate Gurutunat Singh Panon in Canada and in the United States is deeply troubling, and represents a sharp escalation in India’s efforts to silence religious minorities and human rights defenders at home and abroad.”

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USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schnick said in a statement that the commission is “disturbed by India’s international targeting of religious minorities and their advocates.” He further said that recent attempts by the Indian government to silence activists, journalists and lawyers abroad are a serious threat to religious freedom.
This is not the first time that the USCIRF has imposed sanctions for management to face a humiliating smackdown by New Delhi. It has recommended designation of India as a country of particular concern in each of its last three annual reports, with rejection from the Secretary of State (who makes the commitment) and pushback from the Indian government. After, which advised USCIRF earlier this year to “develop. a better understanding of India, its pluralism and its democratic ethos.”

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New Delhi says USCIRF routinely “regurgitates biased and inflammatory comments” about India and “such misrepresentation of facts only brings the USCIRF into disrepute.”
In the past, India has also cautiously declined requests by the USCIRF to visit India. Privately, Indian officials say the commission would be better served by focusing on religious freedom in the United States, where religious profiling and bloodshed occur.

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In its latest salvo, USCIRF also accused Indian authorities of using espionage and online harassment campaigns to “target and intimidate overseas journalists and activists advocating for religious minorities.” “. It specifically cited an online harassment campaign against Wall Street Journal reporter Sabrina Siddiqui, who questioned the state of religious freedom in India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington in June. Kya, who started an online campaign against him, apparently provoked him. This was said by BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya.
“Within its own borders, Indian authorities have repeatedly used draconian legislation such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and anti-conversion laws to systematically crack down on religious minorities, journalists and activists. USCIRF Commissioner David Curry said in a statement that the escalation of repression targeting religious minorities from India abroad, including intimidation tactics against journalists, is particularly dangerous and should not be ignored. Can be done.”
“We urge the US government to continue its active engagement with senior Indian officials and international partners to ensure that religious minorities can live and express themselves without fear of reprisal, even if they Be it in India or elsewhere”.

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Watch The US has claimed to have foiled the plot to kill Khalistani terrorist Panun.

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