US scans religious freedom in India
Fro the full article, go to Times of India
WASHINGTON : The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has said that it is “closely” monitoring religious freedom in India .
The US commission announced its 2006 recommendations to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on “countries of particular concern (CPCs)” on Wednesday, saying that although India should not be under watch, it was being “monitored closely”.
The commission’s letter to Rice with 2006 CPCs recommendations stated that despite improvements after the defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2004 general election, “concerns about religious freedom in India remain, particularly indications that attacks on Christian churches and individuals persist – in some areas at alarmingly high levels – without adequate prosecution.
“The BJP-led state of Rajasthan in particular has been the recent scene of serious attacks on Christian individuals and institutions carried out by members of extremist groups espousing Hindu nationalism”.
It added that significant developments affecting freedom of religion that took place in India since the May 2004 elections resulted in the country’s removal from the commission’s list last year.
“The government has continued to act decisively in several volatile situations in the past year to prevent communal violence in circumstances where it has erupted in the past, most notably following the bombings in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in early 2006, reportedly carried out by Islamist extremist groups,” it explained.
It also noted that school textbooks that had been revised and published under the previous BJP government were replaced in 2005.