United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in her address to the Human Rights Council’s 43rd session expressed concern over the deadly violence that began in the Indian capital on February 23, highlighting in particular reports of police inaction in the face of attacks on Muslims, The Wire reported on Thursday.
“I am concerned by reports of police inaction in the face of attacks against Muslims by other groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters,” she said in her address. She also went on to talk about the contentious Citizenship Act that has polarised Indian society and has been attributed to the communal violence ensuing in New Delhi.
“In India more broadly, the Citizenship Amendment Act adopted last December is of great concern.
Indians in huge numbers, and from all communities, have expressed – in a mostly peaceful manner – their opposition to the Act, and support for the country’s long tradition of secularism,” she was quoted as saying by The Wire
Meanwhile,Indian police have arrested 514 people for deadly Hindu-Muslim violence that broke out in the capital, the government said, as it faced mounting international criticism for failing to protect minority Muslims.
Police said the toll from days of blood-letting stood at 35, but local media, citing unnamed sources, said it was likely to be more than 40 as the full extent of the violence that began on Sunday in a densely-packed locality in northeastern Delhi becomes clear.
Police are still searching drains and homes that were burnt down for bodies, officers said.
More forces were deployed at mosques in the area for the weekly Friday prayers, the government said. The violence began over a citizenship law that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government introduced in December providing a path to Indian citizenship for six religious groups from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims. –Agencies