Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha on Thursday that the government had taken a serious note of the incidents of “hate crimes” against Indians in the U.S., adding that steps would be taken to ensure that “Indians abroad feel safe.”
The Opposition parties questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” on the matter. They asked the government to spell out in Parliament how it planned to deal with the issue. Mr. Singh said the government would issue a detailed statement on the issue next week.
In recent weeks, at least two Indians have been killed in suspected hate crimes in the U.S.
After Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disallowed adjournment notices given by several Opposition members to raise the issue, they took up the matter during Zero Hour.
Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge accused the government of “failure” in raising the issue with the U.S., saying the recent spate of racial attacks was deeply disturbing and Mr. Modi and his government had “failed”, as neither have they condemned the incidents, nor taken up the issue with the U.S. at a high level.
“Why has the Modi government maintained a silence. The Prime Minister tweets on every issue. Why has he kept quiet over such a serious matter,” he said.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Mr. Kharge said that Mr. Modi is seen “hugging foreign leaders and sitting on a swing with Chinese President Xi Jinping” but has not taken up such an important issue.
Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress said the government did not seem to be interested in protecting the interests of Indians in the U.S. Both Mr. Kharge and Mr. Roy said hate crimes have seen a rise since Donald Trump took over as the U.S. President.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told reporters outside Parliament that hate crimes against Indians were a “serious” issue and questioned the government’s “silence.”
“The key question raised by my party was why is the government silent? Why is it silent when Indian lives are being jeopardised daily by these kinds of incidents,” he said.