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US remains concerned over communal violence in India


WASHINGTON: The United States remains concerned about communal violence in India the State Department said as its Human Rights Reports documented rights abuses in several parts of the country.

A State Department spokesperson also rejected the inference that the Washington was being lenient in any way on the issue since the latest U.S Human Rights Report does not mention Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who allegedly supported those behind the 2002 communal killing of Muslims.

He is now BJP's prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming polls. I wouldn't characterize our assessment that way. I think you will find if you review the text that we are very clear about our concerns over several episodes of communal violence across India spokesperson Jen Psaki said at the daily briefing.

The spokesperson was responding to a series of questions when journalists asked why Modi was not mentioned in the latest Human Rights Report and whether the U.S. was going soft on him.

Questioned about the U.S. position on Modi and visa for him which was revoked in 2005 in the wake of a recent meeting between Washington's ambassador in New Delhi Nancy Powell and Modi, the spokesperson replied I have nothing to convey to you on the status of a visa. As you know we encourage individuals to apply and they are those proceedings or processes are private by standard. It s standard that they are private. It shouldn't what I'm conveying to you is that we have ongoing we continue to express concerns about communal violence as it exists in India.

As it relates to that specific meeting I think we have talked about in the past I would caution you to link them. Obviously, we were meeting with a range of officials a broad range of officials. There's obviously a political season happening, but we will meet with a range of officials on the ground and it's an indication of nothing more than that.

The Report on worldwide state of human rights released by Secretary of State John Kerry says a decade after the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat the 2013 Study on Internally Displaced Persons of India by the Centre for Social Justice reported 3,964 internally displaced families in 86 settlements in Gujarat all of them Muslim. The study reported that 30 percent of the IDPs had not received any aid and the rest had been inadequately compensated.

The Gujarat government which initially claimed there were no IDPs continued to hold back compensation although the central government directed it to provide compensation. The state government also denied identified IDPs their entitlements under various social welfare programs and the camps lacked basic amenities such as drinking water power sanitation health care and education. Having lost access to their previous jobs or farmlands most displaced persons worked as casual laborers.

The Report notes that the Indian government had no national policy or legislation to address internal displacement resulting from armed conflict or from ethnic or communal violence. The responsibility for assisting IDPs was delegated to the state governments and district authorities allowing for gaps in services and poor accountability.

Regarding this year's violence in Muzaffarnagar the Report says on August 27 clashes began between the Hindu and Muslim communities in Muzaffarnagar Uttar Pradesh and led to the displacement of more than 42 000 persons according to a fact finding report submitted by the Centre for Policy Analysis. State governments organized relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli Districts for riot victims from approximately 9 000 families.

In the countrywide perspective the Report says violence between ethnic groups in the states of Assam Manipur and Mizoram displaced an unknown number of persons during the year and more than 115 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) remained from previous incidents of communal violence dating back to 1993.


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