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India laughs off US senator’s ‘religious intolerance’ comment

nation Updated: Jun 03, 2016 08:48 IST

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday made light of an influential US senator criticising the Indian government over alleged religious intolerance, human rights violation and extra-judicial killings.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said this was the first visit of US senator Ben Cardin to India and hoped his meetings in the country had helped him understand the nation better.

“This was the senator’s first visit to India. He had a number of meetings and met foreign secretary S Jaishankar. And we hope that he has developed a better understanding and appreciation of India,” Swarup said.

Cardin is a ranking member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee visiting India was invited by the Indian government to address key issues such as ‘religious intolerance’.

The senator said he would raise this issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for whom he will host a reception in Washington next week.

Cardin referred to India’s anti-conversion laws and said these legislations were framed long ago but people in some parts of the country continued to infringe on the citizens’ right to religious freedom.

He also said the ‘extra-judicial killings’ in India shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

First Published: Jun 03, 2016 08:48 IST