India’s Government Admits to Rise in Religious-Based Hate Crimes
ICC Note: India’s government has presented data showing a surge in religious-base since the BJP came to power in 2014. For years, rights groups have accused the current administration of overseeing a rise in violence and intolerance. Over this period, these accusations have been routinely denied by BJP leadership. Faced with hard data, the BJP-led government has had to admit to its failure to protect religious minorities from the radical Hindu nationalists.
02/09/2018 India (UCAN) – India’s pro-Hindu government has presented detailed data in parliament showing a surge in religion-based violence since it came to power four years ago.
The statistics, revealed on Feb. 6, confirm a long-standing allegation by rights groups that the situation is worsening.
In 2017, 111 persons were killed and at least 2,384 injured in 822 cases of sectarian violence, the highest figure in the past three years.
In 2016, 86 persons were killed and 2,321 injured in 703 incidents of religion-based violence.
Parliament was told that the highest number of sectarian incidents was reported in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, which has 200 million people, some 40 million of them Muslims.
The state, where the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in last year’s provincial elections, witnessed 195 incidents of religion-based violence in 2017, claiming 44 lives and injuring 452 people.
Rights groups and civil society have been accusing the BJP, which leads the federal coalition government, of fanning the flames of intolerance. They also allege the administration is supportive of Hindu groups’ violence against religious minorities like Muslims and Christians in its desire to make India a Hindu-only state.
Some BJP leaders’ active promotion of Hindu nationalism resulted in the spike in communal violence in India since it came to power in 2014, says a report by the Mumbai-based Center for Study of Society and Secularism.
The failure by authorities to investigate or prevent such attacks, often led by extremist groups acting as vigilantes for cow protection and moral policing, have “created a climate of impunity” and might lead to continued attacks, says the report.
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