India rejects its criticism in US State Dept report on religious freedom
New Delhi: India on Friday rejected the criticism against it in a US State Department report on religious freedom, saying it is unfortunate that "vote bank politics" is being practised in international relations.
In its reaction, India expressed concern over racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence in the US.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the observation on India in the report is based on "motivated inputs and biased views".
The annual report on international religious freedom, released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken alleged that attacks on members of the minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, took place throughout 2021 in India.
"We have noted the release of the US State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, and ill-informed comments by senior US officials," Bagchi said.
"It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practised in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided," he added.
Bagchi was responding to media queries on the report
"As a naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights. In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence," he said.
The India section of the report mentioned incidents of attacks on the religious minorities
"Attacks on members of religious minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout the year. These included incidents of cow vigilantism' against non-Hindus based on allegations of cow slaughter or trade-in beef," said the India section of the report.