A report criticised BJP over hate speech, cow vigilantes
In a strong statement on Saturday that could spiral into a diplomatic spat, the ruling BJP accused the U.S. State Department of a “clear bias” against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party in an annual report on international religious freedom released on Friday.
The ‘2018 Report on International Religious Freedom’ had criticised BJP office-bearers for hate speech and the government for reportedly protecting cow vigilante groups.
“The basic presumption in this report that there is some grand design behind anti-minority violence is simply false,” BJP National Media head Anil Baluni said in the statement. “On the contrary, in most of such cases, these instances are carried out as a result of local disputes and by criminal mindsets. Whenever needed, Mr. Modi and other BJP leaders have deplored violence against minorities and weaker sections,” he added. Significantly the report, which documents the situation in every country (except the United States), was released by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who will arrive in Delhi on June 25 for talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. The visit is expected to prepare the ground for a proposed meeting between President Donald Trump and Mr. Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka on June 27 and 28.