- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
India hit for rising religious violence
Question of the Day
An independent U.S. agency on Wednesday criticized the Indian government's "inadequate" response to growing religious hatred, saying attacks and violent riots are on the rise.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a harsh assessment of India's ability and interest in protecting Christian and Muslim minorities from organized attacks.
Plenty of laws are in place, the 14-page report noted, but police and government officials often do little to enforce them.
"Although the infrastructure for investigating and prosecuting cases of religiously motivated violence or harassment exists in India, the capacity of the legal system is severely limited and is utilized inconsistently," the USCIRF found.
"These deficiencies have resulted in a culture of impunity that gives members of vulnerable minority communities few assurances of their safety, particularly in areas with a history of communal violence."
The commission said in a statement that it was placing India on its "watch list" for the governments "largely inadequate response in protecting its religious minorities."
The spokesman at the Indian Embassy in Washington said officials are studying the report.
India - a multiethnic, multireligious, multilingual democracy of more than a billion people - is one of the United States' closest allies in Asia.
The country has an independent judiciary, as well as a scrappy and influential press corps that frequently takes on the government, USCIRF officials found. Nongovernmental organizations are free to criticize local and national administrations, and mobilize civil society.
However, the group says, a half-dozen Indian states have passed ordinances that contradict or overturn the national regulations, creating an atmosphere of impunity for the killing and harassment of religious minorities.
USCIRF investigators singled out a violent campaign against Christians in the state of Orissa in eastern India. At least 40 people were killed over a period of weeks, and church properties and thousands of home were attacked. The group estimates that 60,000 people, mostly Christian, fled the violence and sought refuge in the nearby jungle.
"It is extremely disappointing that India, which has a multitude of religious communities, has done so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege," commission Chairman Leonard Leo said in the statement.
He said the India chapter of the commission's annual report is being released this week to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Murdered teen texted boyfriend: 'OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world