US concerned about ‘rising intolerance, violence’ in India

State Department urges New Delhi to do everything to protect citizens and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

July 30, 2016 10:05 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:01 pm IST - Washington

Video grab shows Dalits being beaten up by a cow vigilante group in a village near Gujarat's Una town.

Video grab shows Dalits being beaten up by a cow vigilante group in a village near Gujarat's Una town.

The United States has expressed concern over reports of “rising intolerance and violence” in India, and asked the Indian government to do “everything in its power” to protect citizens and to bring to justice the perpetrators.

Responding to questions on reports of alleged violence against people eating beef and assault on two women carrying buffalo meat in Madhya Pradesh, State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “We stand in solidarity with the people and Government of India in supporting exercise of freedom of religion and expression and in confronting all forms of intolerance.”

“We’re obviously concerned by reports of rising intolerance and violence... As we do in countries facing such problems around the world, we urge the government to do everything in its power to protect citizens and to hold the perpetrators accountable,” he said.

Mr. Kirby said the U.S. looks forward to continuing to work with the Indian people to realise their tolerant, inclusive vision, which is so deeply in the interests of both India and the U.S.

In an instance of cow vigilantism earlier this week, two Muslim women who were carrying buffalo meat were assaulted by people at a railway station in Mandsaur on suspicion that it was beef in the presence of police, who arrested the duo.

The incident came close on the heels of the attack on Dalit youths in Gujarat by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow.

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