A minister in the UK’s Shadow Cabinet has slammed India over the violent attacks on Muslims and called on the British government to look into and respond to the “extremely worrying situation”.
Jonathan Ashworth, a Labour Party MP from Leicester South – a constituency with a prominent Indian-origin electorate in the East Midlands region of England, wrote in a letter last week to foreign secretary and prime ministerial hopeful Jeremy Hunt that many of his constituents had raised concerns that the Indian government was not doing enough on the issue.
“I have been contacted by members of Muslim communities in my Constituency in regard to the on-going violent attacks on Muslims in India,” Ashworth wrote in his letter addressed to the senior Cabinet minister in the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Calling for Hunt to look into and respond over the “serious issue”, the shadow minister for health said: “The situation in India is extremely worrying, there has been reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs.
“My constituents are concerned that the Indian government is not doing enough to address the on-going attacks on Muslim communities in India.”
The FCO said in its response that it engaged with India on the “full range” of human rights matters to build capacity and share expertise and condemns any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, “regardless of the faith or country involved”.
“We are working to improve the situation for Muslim minorities in India, and our ‘Empowering Muslim youth’ project reached 150 young people, 20 teachers and over 100 educational institutions. We have also enabled training for 900 minority students on faith issues in six universities across North India,” an FCO spokesperson said.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a lynching incident in Jharkhand has pained him and the guilty must be severely punished. He stressed that all kinds of violence in the country, whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated in the same manner and law should take its course.