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Proposal to blacklist India

A committee from the United States has labeled India’s situation regarding religious freedom as “extremely concerning.” The committee has recommended placing India back on a blacklist on this issue.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stated in their report that the situation for religious minorities in India deteriorated in 2022. As a result, the Biden administration is urged to designate India as a “country of concern” on this matter, as suggested in the report. The commission further claims that India’s actions to silence activists, journalists, and lawyers pose a serious obstacle to religious freedom.

The Commissioner of USCIRF expressed deep concern over how India’s name has been associated with the cycle of violence against Hardeep Singh in Canada and prominent Sikh figure Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the United States.

The report released by this American organization yesterday has not received an immediate response from the Indian Embassy in Washington. However, according to diplomatic sources, the Indian government regularly dismisses such allegations.

Allegations of religious freedom violations are not new, and this is not the first time the US organization has recommended putting India on such a list. They have been making similar statements annually since 2020. In 2020, the Indian government had outrightly rejected the commission’s comments on this matter.

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