UN High Commissioner for Human rights Michelle Bachele on Wednesday (March 6) said that Indian divisive political agenda has extensively marginalized Muslims and other minorities in the country. In her annual report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, she said they have received reports about increasing harassment and targeting of minorities. The High Commissioner expressed concern that the demands of citizens protesting against inequality are being met by violent and excessive use of force.
“We are receiving reports that indicate increasing harassment and targeting of minorities – in particular Muslims and people from historically disadvantaged and marginalized groups, such as Dalits and Adivasis,” Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human rights said in her annual report. She said, “In India, where there has also been significant poverty reduction in overall terms, inequality remains a serious issue”. “In addition, we are receiving reports that indicate increasing harassment and targeting of minorities – in particular Muslims and people from historically disadvantaged and marginalized groups, such as Dalits and Adivasis”.
“I fear that these divisive policies will not only harm many individuals, but also undermine the success of India’s economic growth story,” she added. “In recent months we have seen people across the world take to the streets to protest,” Bachelet said, referring to a recent wave of protests in Sudan, as well as protests in Haiti and France.
She also criticized Israel over its blockade of Gaza, and said she regretted Israel”s “immediate dismissal” of a report by a UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry, “without addressing any of the very serious issues raised”.
A spokesman for India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed Bachelet’s comments as “baseless” and said “I reject the UN human rights chief’s report,” said Shahnawaz Hussain, a BJP leader. “These are baseless allegations to tarnish the image of India. India is the best country for Muslims in the world, and Hindus are their best friends.”
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