Labour Party leader slams India over attacks on Muslims

Labour Party leader slams India over attacks on Muslims

A minister in the UK's Shadow Cabinet has slammed India overthe violent attacks on Muslims and called on the British government to lookinto 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 Midlandsregion of England, wrote in a letter last week to foreign secretary and primeministerial hopeful Jeremy Hunt that many of his constituents had raisedconcerns that the Indian government was not doing enough on the issue.

"I have been contacted by members of Muslim communitiesin my Constituency in regard to the on-going violent attacks on Muslims inIndia," Ashworth wrote in his letter addressed to the senior Cabinetminister 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: "Thesituation in India is extremely worrying, there has been reports of religiouslymotivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actionsrestricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs.

"My constituents are concerned that the Indiangovernment is not doing enough to address the on-going attacks on Muslimcommunities in India."

The FCO said in its response that it engaged with India onthe "full range" of human rights matters to build capacity and share expertiseand 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 Muslimminorities in India, and our 'Empowering Muslim youth' project reached 150young people, 20 teachers and over 100 educational institutions. We have alsoenabled training for 900 minority students on faith issues in six universitiesacross North India," an FCO spokesperson said.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that alynching incident in Jharkhand has pained him and the guilty must be severelypunished. He stressed that all kinds of violence in the country, whether inJharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated in the same manner and lawshould take its course.

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