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US Religious Freedom Watchdog Urges Biden To Designate India As “Country Of Particular Concern” For Targeting Religious Minority

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Citing India’s alleged targeting of religious minorities abroad, the US Religious Freedom Watchdog urged the Biden administration to designate India as a “country of particular concern” under the US Religious Freedom Act on Friday.

The independent federal government commission known as the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) declared that “recent efforts by the Indian government to silence activists, journalists, and lawyers abroad pose a serious threat to religious freedom.”

The alleged involvement of the Indian government in the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada and the plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the United States, according to USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schneck, is “deeply troubling.”

“USCIRF implores the US Department of State to designate India a Country of Particular Concern due to India’s systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief,” it said in a statement.

The Indian government consistently refutes any discrimination.

This month, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced that an Indian national and an unidentified Indian government employee collaborated on a plot to kill a resident of New York City who supported the creation of a sovereign Sikh state in northern India. The Indian government has refuted any participation in the scheme.

As India and the US attempt to forge closer ties in the face of a rising China that is seen as a common threat, the situation is extremely delicate for both.

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