The speakers at the 46th UNHCR session in Geneva condemned India’s ‘systematic discriminatory agenda’ against its minorities particularly Muslims through legislation aimed at their further marginalization against the Hindu-majority population.
International human rights defenders including UK Member of Parliament Afzal Khan, and activists Rahma Ben Hamadi (Tunisia) and Dr Feroz Mubarak (UK) strongly criticized the human rights violations in India at a virtual conference titled ‘India for Selected Hindus Only’ held in Geneva.
The speakers termed India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) highly discriminatory, demanded setting up an independent inquiry commission on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and called for ‘no to Indian colonization of Kashmir’.
Systematic human rights violations in India
British MP Afzal Khan termed India’s legislation against the values of democracy, pluralism and secularism and expressed concern over the continuing targeted attempts against minorities.
He urged the world leaders to speak about the ongoing human rights violations in India rather than taking a lenient view for the sake of friendly alliances.
“The human rights violations in India are taking place in a more focused and selective way against minorities,” he pointed.
Activist Rahma Ben Hamadi said India was persecuting minorities through CAA and the situation was further exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In COVID-19, she said, minority children suffered from malnutrition and illness while women were persecuted at their homes of domestic violence.
She said in Kashmir, the restriction of access to communication network affected the livelihood particularly the implication on Kashmir Chambers of Commerce and Industries caused the economy to lose US 2.4 billion.
India pursuing discriminatory agenda against minorities
Activist Dr Feroz Mubarak from the UK said amidst the challenges of poverty and security and without giving rights to Dalits and other minorities, how India could welcome the immigrants.
He said India’s amnesty offer to the non-Muslim population of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan reflected the BJP’s extremist mindset and selectiveness.
Instead of becoming a more welcoming and inclusive society, he said, India was going in the opposite direction within its discriminatory agenda.
He said since BJP’s coming into power in 2014, many laws were passed that enabled it to lawfully support the secular Hindu movement.
“They engineered the system with socio-political arrangements and restructuring of State departments that will not let help minorities step up and challenge it in a legal way,” he said.
He condemned the systematic discrimination and underlying agendas behind India’s moves against neighbouring countries particularly Pakistan.
The poster exposition arranged in front of Palais des Nations by Kashmiri human rights defenders in Geneva highlighted the slogans including ‘India – Stop Enforced Disappearances in Kashmir’, ‘India using excessive force on peaceful protests’ and ‘No to Indian Colonization in Kashmir’.