USCIRF expresses concern over violence against Muslims in India

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The Chairperson of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has expressed concern over recent violence against Muslims in the Indian state of Tripura.

The Washington-based USCIRF has urged the Indian government to stop violence against religious communities.

Reacting to a BBC report on the violence, Nadine Maenza, the Chairperson of the Commission, maintained that they are concerned about ongoing violence in Tripura against Muslims, which some regard as retaliation for attacks against Hindus in Bangladesh last month following allegations of desecration of the Holy Quran on October 13. The Indian government must stop violence against religious communities, she demanded.

For more than a week Tripura is witnessing a series of ant-Muslim violence by Hindu extremists and Hindutva groups and as per information relayed by local activists and residents, there have been at least 27 confirmed incidents of Hindutva mobs attacking mosques, houses and individuals in Muslim areas.

These include 16 incidents where mosques were vandalised and Hindutva group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) flags were forcibly hoisted on them, three of which were set on fire.

Menza’s statement was shared from USCIRF official handle which fetched more than 1,000 retweets and likes.

Similar concern was expressed by Commission’s member Anurima Bhargava who said: “USCIRF is particularly alarmed about reports from #Tripura of mobs desecrating mosques & torching properties of #Muslims.

The Indian govt must bring those responsible for instigating & engaging in religious violence to justice & must prevent further attacks.”

USCIRF is an independent body of the US federal government that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief globally.—KMS

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