Ahead of President Donald Trump’s maiden go to to India, four influential US Senators, who described themselves as “longtime buddies of India”, have sought an evaluation of the human rights state of affairs in Kashmir and religious freedom in the country, announcing lots of Kashmiris remain in “preventive detention”.
The bipartisan crew of Senators, in their letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dated February 12, said that India has now imposed the longest-ever web shutdown by way of a democracy, disrupting get entry to to clinical care, enterprise and education for seven million people.
The government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019 that granted different status to Jammu and Kashmir, and imposed curbs such as on movement of human beings as nicely as on mobile smartphone and net connectivity. The crackdown drew worldwide criticism with quite a few nations expressing issues over the scenario in Kashmir.
India has categorically told the worldwide neighborhood that its pass to scrap Article 370 was once an interior matter. According to officials, net is being restored in the Valley in a phased manner after reviewing the security situation.
The US lawmakers, describing themselves as “longtime friends of India”, wrote in the letter that “more than six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government unilaterally revoked the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, the government continues to block most internet in the region”.
“Hundreds of Kashmiris remain in ‘preventive detention’, along with key political figures,” they said.
Signatories to the letter are Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young, Richard J Durbin and Lindsey O Graham.
“In addition, the Indian government has taken different troubling steps that threaten the rights of sure spiritual minorities and the secular character of the state. This consists of the passage of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act which is being challenged in India’s Supreme Court,” the Senators wrote.
In the letter, the Senators requested Pompeo for a State Department assessment of a wide variety of troubles in India inclusive of the number of persons detained by using the government for political purposes and their treatment; cutting-edge restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir; modern accessibility of Jammu and Kashmir; and restrictions on spiritual freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir.
The movements taken by way of the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir, they said, have extreme consequences. That is why, in the Fiscal Year 2020 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes appropriations report, the Congress advised India to totally repair telecommunications and web services, carry its lockdown and curfew and launch the individuals detained pursuant to the Indian government’s revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
Trump will pay a country visit to India on February 24 and 25 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on Wednesday stated the US President’s go to will be a “very exclusive one” and it will go a lengthy way in similarly cementing India-USA friendship.
India keeps that the Indian Constitution guarantees crucial rights to all its citizens, which include its minority communities.
It is widely mentioned that India is a shiny democracy the place the Constitution affords safety of religious freedom, and where democratic governance and rule of regulation further promote and shield vital rights, a senior reputable of the Ministry of External Affairs has said.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014 following spiritual persecution there will get Indian citizenship.
The Indian government has been emphasising that the new regulation will now not deny any citizenship rights, but has been delivered to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring international locations and supply them citizenship.
Defending the CAA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remaining month stated that the law is now not about taking away citizenship, it is about giving citizenship.
“We have to all recognize that any character of any faith from any usa of the world who believes in India and its Constitution can apply for Indian citizenship through due process. There’s no hassle in that,” he said.