Outright rejecting the United States Department of State report on International Religious Freedom that stated attacks against minorities by Hindu groups continue in India, the MEA has told the United States that India sees 'no locus standi for a foreign entity'
In response to a query, official MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India is proud of its secular credentials and that the Constitution assures fundamental rights to all citizens, including the minority community.
MEA said, "India is proud of its secular credentials, it's status as the largest democracy and pluralistic society with a longstanding commitment to tolerance and inclusion. The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including its minority communities."
"It is widely acknowledged that India is a vibrant democracy where the Constitution provides protection of religious freedom, and where democratic governance and rule of law further promote and protect the fundamental rights. We see no locus standi for a foreign entity to pronounce on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights," MEA added.
The report claimed that mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against the minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018, amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef.
Further alleged that some senior officials of the ruling BJP made inflammatory speeches against the minority communities.
The report said that as of November, there were 18 such attacks, and eight people killed during the year.
On June 22, two Uttar Pradesh police officers were charged with culpable homicide after a Muslim cattle trader died of injuries sustained while being questioned in police custody, the report said.
In the India section, the State Department said that there were reports by nongovernmental organizations that the government sometimes failed to act on mob attacks on religious minorities, marginalised communities and critics of the government.
The State Department said that the central and state governments and members of political parties took steps that affected Muslim practices and institutions.
There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytize, the annual report said.
Mandated by the Congress, the State Department in its voluminous report gives its assessment of the status of religious freedom in almost all the countries and territories of the world.
(With PTI inputs)