India did not act against cow vigilantes, says US

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

There was an increase in violent incidents by cow protection groups against mostly Muslim victims, including killings, mob violence, assaults, and intimidation.

There was an increase in violent incidents by cow protection groups mostly against Muslims in India in the year 2016, an official U.S. report on global religious freedom said Tuesday (August 15), noting that authorities often "failed" to prosecute cow vigilantes. Jews were accorded minority status in Maharashtra making their community "eligible for several government assistance programs".

According to the report, which is the first one under the Trump's Administration, there have been many religiously-motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytize.

In total, there have been "751 conflicts between religious communities, which resulted in 97 deaths and 2,264 injuries in 2015".

Quoting the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), the USA report said there were over 300 incidents of abuse targeting Christians during the year, compared with 177 in 2015.

"Religious minority communities stated that, while the national government sometimes spoke out against incidents of violence, local political leaders often did not, which left victims and minority religious communities feeling vulnerable", the report added. The State Department also cited the restrictions imposed on American Christian NGO Compassion International's operations in India.

The International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 (IRFR), released in Washington on Tuesday, examined the marriage laws governing religious groups in various countries.

"Authorities frequently did not prosecute members of vigilante "cow protection" groups who attacked alleged smugglers, consumers, or traders of beef, usually Muslims, despite an increase in attacks compared to previous years", the report said, listing the series of violent incidents in India last year.

Hindu civil law allows men to have multiple wives, but there are officially no options for divorce, IANS says quoting a United States government report.

Supreme Court that was backed by Muslim women's groups while opposed by Islamic clergy and some organisations.

"Prime Minister Modi stated there should be no discrimination against women on the basis of religion and the government had the responsibility to protect Muslim women's constitutional rights", IRFR added.

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