India calls USCIRF reports as 'biased and tendious'

India rejects USCIRF reports; calls it 'biased and tendentious'

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava

India on Tuesday rejected its criticism by a US commission on religious freedom, terming its observations on the condition of minorities and religious freedom as "biased and tendentious".

In the 2020 edition of its annual report on International Religious Freedom, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) alleged that religious freedom in India witnessed a drastic downward turn.

It also alleged that the religious minorities were under increasing assault in India

"We reject the observations on India in the USCIRF annual report. Its biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

"It has not been able to carry its own commissioners in its endeavour. We regard it as an organisation of particular concern and will treat it accordingly," he said, responding to a query on observations by the USCIRF.

The USCIRF asked the State Department to designate 14 nations, including India, as "countries of particular concern", alleging that religious minorities are under increasing assault in these nations.

These include nine countries that the State Department designated as CPCs in December 2019 - Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan - as well as five others - India, Nigeria, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam, the USCIRF said.

In its report, the watchdog alleged that in 2019, the national government in India used its strengthened parliamentary majority to institute national-level policies violating religious freedom across the country, especially for Muslims.

"Most notably, it enacted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which provides a fast track to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan already residing in India," it alleged.