India came down heavily on United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet for her comments on the ongoing farmers’ protests against the three farm laws and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The unprovoked violence on our Republic Day in the name of farmers’ rights, apparently, left her unmoved,” said India’s Permanent Representative Indra Mani Pandey at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.
In her oral update, Bachelet had observed that farmers’ protests “highlight the importance of ensuring laws and policies are based on meaningful consultations with those concerned”. She hoped that the dialogue efforts by the farmers and government “will lead to an equitable solution to this crisis that respects the rights of all”.
“Objectivity and impartiality have to be the hallmarks of any human rights assessment. We are sorry to see that the high commissioner’s oral update is lacking in both,” the Indian diplomat said.
He said the UNHRC chief appeared as oblivious of the enormous efforts made by India to address the challenges as indeed many of the factors driving these challenges.
Bachelet had also spoken on the situation in Kashmir, noting that restrictions on communications and clampdowns on civil society activists “remain of concern”. She observed that despite the restoration of 4G access for the first time since August 2019 in Kashmir, the “communications blockade has seriously hampered civic participation, as well as business, livelihoods, education, and access to health-care and medical information”.
In response to this, the Indian diplomat said her indifference to terrorism was not new and went on elaborating the steps taken by the government to restore normalcy since J K was stripped of its special status.