US Asks Modi Govt to Stop Use of Force on Peaceful Protesters

Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB
Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB

The U.S. Government may soon impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act on India and Indian leaders including Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for corruption and human rights abuses.

By Rakesh Raman

As government-backed police and security forces are using force against protesters in India, nearly 20 people have died and hundreds of others have received serious injuries.

It is said that nearly 200 university students who were protesting on December 15 in Delhi were admitted to hospital with serious injuries including bullet wounds inflicted by Delhi Police which entered the university without permission to brutalize unarmed students.

As the government headed by PM Narendra Modi is not able to control the situation, police brutality on peaceful protesters – who are protesting against a new law against Muslims – is increasing.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said it is deeply troubled by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) which excludes Muslims.

USCIRF also condemned religious violence in Uttar Pradesh (UP) state and across India, and called on Modi government officials and law enforcement to stop use of force on those exercising right to express concern about CAB / CAA and expansion of National Register of Citizens (NRC).

[ Anti-Muslim Citizenship Bill: U.S. Plans to Impose Sanctions on Amit Shah ]

In UP state of India, police are openly vandalizing and ransacking homes – mostly of Muslims – and reports suggest that police shot dead 2 young Muslim boys – Suleiman and Anis – who were not even participating in the protests.

According to CNN, at least 15 people have died in violence in UP since the protests against the controversial new citizenship law erupted and the overall death toll across the country is already 22.

As the protests are happening in India against a new discriminatory citizenship law called Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA 2019, police – particularly in Delhi – have beaten the protesters mercilessly.

[ Also Read: U.S. Resolution Asks Modi Govt to Protect Religious Freedom of All Residents ]

The government has also imposed many restrictions in most parts of the country including India’s capital New Delhi. The restrictions include shutdown of Internet and mobile services, termination of local train services, arrests of protesters, and the imposition of Section 144 that prohibits assembly of four or more people in an area.

As police officials are exploiting the situation, they are filing false cases against innocent people and releasing them only after taking bribes of thousands of rupees in each case. According to India Today news, more than 5,500 people have been detained and 925 arrested by the UP Police.

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The USCIRF has indicated that the U.S. Government may soon impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act on India and Indian leaders including Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for corruption and human rights abuses.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman