“Poor Understanding”: India Trashes US Report On Alleged Rights Abuse

India has said it attaches “no value” to the report.

New Delhi:

Reacting sharply to a report by the US State Department in which it said there were “significant human rights abuses” in Manipur after violence broke out in the state last year, India has said the document is deeply biased and reflects a poor understanding of the country. 

Responding to a question on the report during the Ministry of External Affairs’ weekly media briefing on Thursday, the Ministry’s Spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal said, “This report is deeply biased and reflects a very poor understanding of India. We attach no value to it and urge you also to do the same.”

The executive summary of the ‘2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: India’, released recently, states that the ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur resulted in “significant human rights abuses”. 

It also noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the incident as “shameful” and called for action on the case.

The report, which is released by the State Department every year and is mandated by the US Congress, also mentioned a 60-hour search of the BBC’s Delhi and Mumbai offices on February 14 and noted that the action came soon after the release of a documentary on PM Modi by the broadcaster.

“Although tax authorities described the search as motivated by irregularities in the BBC’s tax payments and ownership structure, officials also searched and seized equipment from journalists who were not involved in the organisation’s financial processes,” the report said. 

Another issue raised by the report was the conviction and sentencing of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a case related to defaming the Modi surname, which led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha. Mr Gandhi was later reinstated after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction. 

Pointing out some positive developments as well, the report said that, in July last year, the government permitted a march in Srinagar, allowing Shias to mark Muharram. 

“This procession represented the first government-sanctioned recognition of the event in Srinagar since it was banned in 1989. The government imposed some restrictions on the use of slogans or the display of logos of any banned organisations,” it said.