Police Failed to Stop Attacks Against Indian Muslims: Michelle Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré (file photo)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré (file photo)

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Thursday (February 27) that the police failed to protect Muslims who were attacked by mobs in Delhi riots.

“I am concerned by reports of police inaction in the face of attacks against Muslims by other groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters,” Ms Bachelet said.

She was updating the Human Rights Council on human rights concerns, and progress, across the world in the Council’s 43rd Session in Geneva.

In India, according to Ms Bachelet, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) adopted last December is of great concern. Indians in huge numbers, and from all communities, have expressed – in a mostly peaceful manner – their opposition to the Act, and support for the country’s long tradition of secularism, she added.

This has now widened into broader inter-communal attacks in Delhi, with 34 people killed since Sunday 23 February. “I appeal to all political leaders to prevent violence,” Ms Bachelet said.

So far, nearly 40 innocent people have been killed while hundreds have received serious injuries – including bullet wounds – in the carnage that started in Delhi on Sunday.

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Rakesh Raman