The US State Department has stated that religious intolerance in India is growing under PM Modi’s government. In response, India has said that a foreign government has no right to comment on the country’s internal affairs. Moreover, a 10-minute-long video of a brutal lynching emerged recently on Indian social media and has left Indian Muslims shocked. The footage shows a group of men beating a 22-year-old Muslim man, Tabrez Ansari, in the Eastern state of Jharkhand. The crowd forced him to shout “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram). Ansari died at the hospital on Saturday, the same day the US State Department released its International Religious Freedom Report, which highlights the grave situation that religious minorities face in India.

The US State Department claimed, “There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs. Authorities often failed to prosecute perpetrators of ‘cow vigilante’ attacks, which included killings, mob violence, and intimidation.”

Muslims, in particular, are often the target of religious persecution. They make up nearly 14% of India’s 1.3 billion population. Extremist Hindu groups have also targeted Dalits, the “untouchables” in the caste system, and Christians, whose churches have been vandalized in Delhi and in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

SARFRAZ SOOMRO,

Shikarpur.