New Delhi, June 15 (KMS): Amnesty International has said that India must immediately end a “vicious” crackdown on Muslims who took to the streets to protest a ruling BJP party official’s remarks about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Chair of Amnesty International India Aakar Patel in a statement said the authorities are “selectively and viciously cracking down on Muslims who dare to speak up against the discrimination faced by them”. “Cracking down on protesters with excessive use of force, arbitrary detention and punitive house demolitions… is in complete violation of India’s commitments under international human rights law,” he said.
More than 300 people have been arrested in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for joining last week’s rallies. The state’s chief minister, firebrand monk Yogi Adityanath, is one of India’s most prominent Hindu Hindutva politicians, known for sectarian rhetoric against India’s 200-million strong Muslim minority.
Adityanath has repeatedly called on the authorities to demolish the homes of people accused of crimes, an exhortation critics say violates constitutional and human rights law prohibitions on collective punishment.
The Amnesty International has demanded an “immediate and unconditional release” of detained protesters, and Patel said the arrests and demolitions were “part of an alarming escalation of the states’ measures targeting Muslims”.
Since coming to power nationally in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been championing the discriminatory policies against the Muslims.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fascist government proposed a controversial law that granted faster citizenship to refugees in India, but not if they are Muslim, while state BJP governments have passed laws making inter-religious marriages harder.