India has hit back at the US media, political leaders, and official bodies like the House Foreign Affairs Committee and United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for comments on recent violence in Delhi.
"We have seen comments made by USCIRF, sections of the media, and a few individuals regarding recent incidents of violence in Delhi. These are factually inaccurate and misleading, and appear to be aimed at politicising the issue. Our law enforcement agencies are working on the ground to prevent violence and ensure restoration of confidence and normalcy. Senior representatives of the government have been involved in that process. The prime minister has publically appealed for peace and brotherhood. We would urge that irresponsible comments are not made at this sensitive time”, Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry said in a statement.
On Wednesday, USCIRF released a statement “condemning violence in India’s capital city”.
Expressing grave concern over the ongoing violence in Delhi, USCIRF said “reports are mounting that the Delhi Police have not intervened in violent attacks against Muslims, and the government is failing in its duty to protect its citizens".
Ministry of external affairs terms the statement by USCIRF misleading. pic.twitter.com/8hCziHpU4M— Aakriti Sharma (@_aakritisharma) February 27, 2020
On Wednesday evening, US Representative for Virginia's 8th congressional district Don Beyer asked Washington to “reject violence, bigotry, and religious intolerance”.
I condemn attacks against Muslims in India, and reject violence, bigotry, and religious intolerance. The US State Department should too.— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) February 26, 2020
Sharing a report by The Washington Post, US Senator from Vermont and Democratic hopeful for president Bernie Sanders called Donald Trump’s statement regarding the violence a "failure of leadership".
Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, "That's up to India." This is a failure of leadership on human rights.https://t.co/tUX713Bz9Y— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 26, 2020
Chairman @RepEliotEngel: Deeply troubled by the deaths from the communal violence in India over the past couple of days.— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) February 26, 2020
The right to protest is a key aspect in democracy, but they must remain peaceful and police must ensure the safety of all.https://t.co/SmVdg1HFD7
US President Donald Trump along with his wife Melania Trump and a high-level delegation were on a two-day visit to India on 24 and 25 February. Trump had called issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) an internal matter during a press conference in Delhi on Tuesday.
Anti-CAA protests have engulfed the country since India enacted the law in December 2019. The new citizenship law grants citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Parsis from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
The clashes erupted in the national capital after the pro-citizenship law and anti-citizenship law demonstrators turned violent. As many as 34 people have died and around 300 sustained injuries in several days of violence.