Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against the minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018, amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef, an official US report said Friday.
The State Department in its annual 2018 InternationalReligious Freedom Report alleged that some senior officials of the ruling BJPmade inflammatory speeches against the minority communities.
"Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups againstminority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amidrumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef," it said.
According to some NGOs, the authorities often protectedperpetrators from prosecution, it said.
The report said that as of November, there were 18 suchattacks, and eight people killed during the year.
In the India section, the State Department said that therewere reports by nongovernmental organizations that the government sometimesfailed to act on mob attacks on religious minorities, marginalised communitiesand critics of the government.
The State Department said that the central and stategovernments and members of political parties took steps that affected Muslimpractices and institutions.
The government continued its challenge in the Supreme Courtto the minority status of Muslim educational institutions, which affords themindependence in hiring and curriculum decisions, it said.
"Proposals to rename Indian cities with Muslimprovenance continued, most notably the renaming of Allahabad to Prayagraj.Activists said these proposals were designed to erase Muslim contributions toIndian history and had led to increased communal tensions," the StateDepartment said.There were reports of religiously motivatedkillings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restrictingthe right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytize,the annual report said.