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India slams US report on religious freedom

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The government today reacted sharply to the references made about India in the US State Department report on international religious freedom and the comments made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other American officials.

“We have noted the release of the US State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, and ill-informed comments by senior US officials,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

He regretted those vote bank politics was being practised in international relations. “We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided,” he added.

The spokesperson added that as a naturally pluralistic society, India valued religious freedom and human rights. “In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence,” he added.

While releasing the report yesterday, Blinken said; ”…In India, the world’s largest democracy, and home to a great diversity of faiths, we’ve seen rising attacks on people and places of worship.”

”As the Secretary (of State) stated, in India, some officials are ignoring or even supporting rising attacks on people and places of worship,” International Religious Freedom head Rashad Hussain said.