The United States has asked India to do “everything in its power” to protect its citizens, expressing concern over reports of “rising intolerance and violence” in the country.
“We stand in solidarity with the people and government of India in supporting exercise of freedom of religion and expression and in confronting all forms of intolerance,” US state department spokesperson John Kirby said.
He was responding to questions on reports of increasing incidents of violence over beef in India.
Most recently, two Muslim women in Madhya Pradesh were thrashed by cow protection vigilantes on the suspicion of carrying beef, which was revealed to be buffalo meat on forensic examination. A few days earlier, four Dalit youths were tied up and thrashed allegedly for skinning a dead cow. This resulted in widespread protests by the Dalit community in Gujarat.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government has repeatedly been accused by opposition parties of adopting a kid gloves treatment when dealing with Right-wing extremist groups, who openly dispense mob justice, mostly on member’s of minority communities.
“We’re obviously concerned by reports of rising intolerance and violence...,” Kirby said. “As we do in countries facing such problems around the world, we urge the government to do everything in its power to protect citizens and to hold the perpetrators accountable.”
Kirby said the US looks forward to continuing to work with the Indian people to realise their tolerant and inclusive vision, which was in the interests of both India and the US.
With inputs from PTI