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‘Obama should raise issue of minority rights in India’

Barack Obama

Washington: An Indian American Muslim advocacy group has appealed to US President Barack Obama to raise with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of alleged deterioration in the condition of minorities in India.

“In your discussions with Prime Minister Modi and other Indian officials, express concern over the rapidly deteriorating situation of Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and other minorities in India. A reference to their plight during your speech would go a long way in highlighting the international community’s cognisance of the ground realities in India,” the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) said in a letter to Obama.

In the letter dated January 22, which was released to the press yesterday, IAMC alleged that since the new Indian government took office, over 600 incidents of religious violence against minorities have occurred in the state of Uttar Pradesh alone.

“This is a dramatic escalation from previous years and represents a full-fledged assault against the religious and cultural identity of religious minorities launched by militant Hindu nationalist groups,” it said.

The letter also urged Obama to call on India’s administration to pursue policies that are equitable, representative of India’s secular constitution and its longstanding tradition of pluralism.

Obama will be in India as the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on January 26 at the invitation of Modi.

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