Anti-Muslim riots: US urges all parties to maintain peace

Lahore – France and Russia on Thursday issued security alert for their citizens in the Indian capital after 34 people were killed in violent clashes between pro and anti-Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) protesters in North-East Delhi in the last couple of days, reported Kashmir Media Service.

The US Embassy in New Delhi in its security advisory asked the US citizens in India to “exercise caution in light of violent demonstrations” in North-East Delhi and “avoid all areas where protests are being held”.

Protests broke out in Delhi after the BJP government enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which fast-tracks citizenship of persecuted religious minorities of three countries in India’s neighborhood — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

In the last two days, both anti and pro-CAA protesters clashed in several areas of North-East Delhi, resulting in 23 deaths so far.

The US embassy asked its citizens to monitor local media outlets for updates on demonstrations, road and Metro closures, and possible curfews. It also asked US citizens to avoid locations where heavy traffic or road closures or protests are expected, and to keep a low profile and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Chief US Diplomat for South Asian affairs, Alice Wells, on Thursday urged “all parties” to maintain peace after days long communal riots which left dozens dead mostly Muslims. Worship places, homes, and shops of Muslims were set on fire in the Indian capital as Hindu extremists step up attacks.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased and injured in New Delhi. We echo PM @NarendraModi’s call for calm and normalcy and urge all parties to maintain peace, refrain from violence, and respect the right of peaceful assembly,” she tweeted.

These comments by a leading American diplomat comes after India accused a US government commission of politicising communal violence in New Delhi that killed at least 34 people and injured more than 200 others.

On Wednesday, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said it was deeply troubled by the violence and cited accounts that police had not intervened in attacks against Muslims, which police and India’s federal government have denied.

“The government is failing in its duty to protect its citizens,” Commissioner Anurima Bhargava said. India’s External Affairs Ministry said the commission’s comments were “factually inaccurate and misleading” and appeared to be “aimed at politicising the issue”.

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