The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday dismissed an official report released by the United States that said mob attacks by “violent extremist Hindu groups” against minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018. The party said the report shows a clear bias against the Narendra Modi government.
The 2018 International Religious Freedom Report by the US State Department also alleged that some senior officials of the ruling BJP made inflammatory speeches against minority communities.
“The basic presumption in this report that there is some grand design behind anti-minority violence is simply false,” said BJP media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni, according to PTI. “On the contrary, in most of such cases, these instances are carried out as a result of local disputes and by [people with] criminal mindsets.” Baluni said Modi and other leaders have always deplored violence against minorities and other weaker sections of the society.
The US report cited data presented by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs in the Lok Sabha on February 6 which showed that communal incidents had increased 9% from 2015 to 2017, with 822 incidents resulting in 111 deaths and 2,384 injuries in 2017. “Authorities often failed to prosecute perpetrators of ‘cow vigilante’ attacks, which included killings, mob violence, and intimidation,” the report said.
Baluni said the report ignored that India “has deep-rooted democratic institutions, including fiercely independent and pro-active judiciary” that ensures the guilty is punished.
Baluni claimed that central schemes have benefited all castes, religions and regions equally. “BJP is indeed proud of its record in uplifting living standards of all poor, underprivileged sections of the society, irrespective of their faith and gender,” he said in the statement. Baluni added that the massive mandate that the BJP got in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections shows that people in India have confidence on the development agenda.
BJP says US report on religious freedom shows clear bias against Modi government – Scroll.in