SHAFAQNA– Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday said that Indian government have adopted laws and policies that systematically discriminate against Muslims and stigmatize critics of the government.
Prejudices embedded in the government of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have infiltrated independent institutions, such as the police and the courts, empowering nationalist groups to threaten, harass, and attack religious minorities with impunity, HRW’s report said.
February 23, 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the communal violence in Delhi that killed 53 people, 40 of them Muslim. “Instead of conducting a credible and impartial investigation, including into allegations that BJP leaders incited violence and police officials were complicit in attacks, the authorities have targeted activists and protest organizers. The authorities have lately responded to another mass protest, this time by farmers, by vilifying minority Sikh protesters and opening investigations into their alleged affiliation with separatist groups”, HRW added.
Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch said that: “The government has not only failed to protect Muslims and other minorities from attacks but is providing political patronage and cover for bigotry.”
The February 2020 attacks in Delhi had followed months of peaceful protests by Indians of all faiths against the government’s discriminatory citizenship law and proposed policies. BJP leaders and supporters attempted to discredit protesters, particularly Muslims, by accusing them of conspiring against national interests.