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US lauds UPA Govt for religious freedom

UPA-led government at the centre is quite committed to religious freedom, but it has "concerns" on this issues at the local level, specially those states ruled by the BJP, Obama Administration's first Annual Report on International Religions Freedom has said.

world Updated: Oct 27, 2009 12:57 IST

UPA-led government at the centre is quite committed to religious freedom, but it has "concerns" on this issues at the local level, specially those states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Obama Administration's first Annual Report on International Religions Freedom, between July 2008 and June 2009 has said.

"The Government at the central level is quite committed and it's also, as you know, a very diverse– religiously diverse society, where, in fact, a lot of religions were born and nurtured. I think at a local level we have some concerns, and there are some specific instances mentioned in the report," Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Michael H Posner, told reporters after the release of the Congressionally mandated annual report.

"The response to violence, for example, in one case where a Hindu religious leader was killed and there was a spate of violence that affected mainly a Christian population and 40-some people killed." "So we are very mindful that there are still inner religious tensions within the society, and I think our focus would be on the lack of response at a local level rather than a national – the national policy is good. It's a question of how it's implemented at a local level," Posner said.