Thursday, August 13, 2009

US body puts India under 'Watch List' on religious freedom

Updated on : Thursday, August 13, 2009

WASHINGTON: The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has placed India on its "Watch List" for New Delhi's largely inadequate response in protecting its religious minorities.

In a statement, USCIRF said India earned the "Watch List" designation due to the "disturbing increase" in communal violence against religious minorities, specifically Christians in eastern Indian state Orissa in 2008 and Muslims in western Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 and the largely inadequate response from the Indian government to protect the rights of religious minorities.

"It is extremely disappointing that India, which has a multitude of religious communities, has done so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege," said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair.

USCIRF's India chapter was released this week to mark the first anniversary of the start of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa.

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