Amnesty criticizes India for intolerance of dissent


NEW DELHI: Amnesty International has joined a growing chorus accusing India of supporting a climate of intolerance by cracking down on dissent through arbitrary arrests, caste-based discrimination, extrajudicial killings and attacks on freedom of expression.

The rights group said in its annual global report, published Wednesday, that India’s Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to prevent hundreds of incidents of communal violence, usually involving members of the Hindu majority pitted against Muslims or other minorities. Instead, ruling party lawmakers and politicians were fueling religious tensions with provocative speeches and justifications for the violence, it said.

Amnesty’s report also highlights the government’s continued harassment of civil society groups critical of official policies over the past year, as well as government legal action aimed at controlling foreign funds for nongovernmental organizations.

 “Over 3,200 people were being held in January under administrative detention on executive orders without charge or trial,” the report said, adding that state authorities used “anti-terror” laws to illegally hold activists and protesters in custody.
Source: AP
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