US lawmakers express concern over Delhi violence as toll rises to 27, say country must speak up against anti-Muslim violence

The deadly violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi drew sharp reactions from US lawmakers with the mainstream media prominently reporting it along with the just-concluded visit of President Donald Trump

Press Trust of India February 27, 2020 00:08:36 IST
US lawmakers express concern over Delhi violence as toll rises to 27, say country must speak up against anti-Muslim violence
  • Reacting to the violence in New Delhi, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs said its chairman Eliot Engel was 'deeply troubled by the deaths from the communal violence in India'

  • It said the right to protest is a key aspect in democracy, but they must remain peaceful and police must ensure the safety of all

  • 'I condemn attacks against Muslims in India, and reject violence, bigotry, and religious intolerance. The US State Department should too,' Republican lawmaker Don Beyer tweeted

Washington: The deadly violence over the amended citizenship act in the Indian capital drew sharp reactions from US lawmakers with the mainstream media prominently reporting it along with the just-concluded visit of President Donald Trump.

Reacting to the violence in New Delhi that has claimed at least 27 lives, the House Foreign Affairs Committee said its Chairman Eliot Engel was "deeply troubled by the deaths from the communal violence in India".

US lawmakers express concern over Delhi violence as toll rises to 27 say country must speak up against antiMuslim violence

Protesters hurl brick-bats during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protestors and supporters of the new citizenship act, at Jafrabad in north-east Delhi. PTI

It said the right to protest is a key aspect in democracy, but they must remain peaceful and police must ensure the safety of all.

"I condemn attacks against Muslims in India, and reject violence, bigotry, and religious intolerance. The US State Department should too," Republican lawmaker Don Beyer tweeted.

US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said the "deadly surge of religious intolerance in India is horrifying".

"Democracies should not tolerate division and discrimination or promote laws that undermine religious freedom," she tweeted, adding that the "world is watching".

The Indian Parliament had passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last year, resulting in a series of protests across the country.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal too termed the violence a "tragic failure of moral leadership".

"We must speak out in the face of threats to human rights in India," he said.

Democrat presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren said, "It's important to strengthen relationships with democratic partners like India. But we must be able to speak truthfully about our values, including religious freedom and freedom of expression, and violence against peaceful protesters is never acceptable."

Congresswoman Rashida Talib tweeted, "This week, Trump visited India but the real story should be the communal violence targeting Muslims in Delhi right now. We cannot be silent as this tide of anti-Muslim violence continues across India."

The violence in Delhi prominently featured in the mainstream media.

"The riots represent a serious escalation of tensions after months of protests in response to a controversial citizenship law and growing frictions between supporters and opponents of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," the Washington Post reported.

"As President Trump toured India's capital, at least 11 people were killed in communal clashes that have upended a working-class neighborhood," The New York Times said.

In a tweet, US Commission for International Religious Freedom said it is alarmed by reports of "deadly mob violence targeting Muslims in New Delhi".

It urged the Modi government to rein in the mob and protect religious minorities.

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