U.S. Report Highlights Human Rights Concerns in Manipur

U.S. Report Highlights Human Rights Concerns in Manipur

According to the U.S. State Department's annual human rights assessment, there were significant human rights abuses in India's northeastern state of Manipur last year. The report highlighted clashes between tribal Kuki-Zo and the majority Meitei populations following a court order to extend minority privileges to the Meitei, resulting in over 200 deaths and displacement of more than 60,000 people between May and November.

In other parts of India, the report noted numerous instances of government pressure and harassment against media critical of the government. For instance, the Income Tax Department raided the BBC's offices after it released a critical documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India's press freedom ranking hit a new low in 2023.

The assessment also highlighted discrimination against religious minorities, including incitements to violence and dissemination of misinformation. Prime Minister Modi, seeking a third term, denies allegations of minority abuse and asserts that his policies benefit all Indians.

Critics argue that under Modi's leadership, there has been a rise in hate speech, the revocation of Kashmir's special status, implementation of a controversial citizenship law, and the demolition of Muslim properties under the guise of removing illegal constructions.

Despite the recurring concerns raised by the U.S. report, analysts suggest that Washington's criticism of New Delhi is tempered due to its strategic interest in India as a counterbalance to China's expansionism.

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