Geneva, March 17, 2016 (PPI-OT):Kashmiri representative, Ishtiyaq Hameed, has said that the Indian government has failed to improve respect for religious freedom, protect the rights of women and children, and end abuses against marginalized communities.
Ishtiyaq Hameed addressing the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva said, use of violence against individuals and communities at the lower end of caste and caste-like systems to maintain the system and perpetuate oppression is common in India.
He said the Indian government does not appear to have a mechanism in place to track the efficacy of the reforms in preventing and punishing sexual violence. It has also failed to take effective measures to reduce sexual harassment and improve women’s access to safe transportation, he added. He said that rape victims in occupied Kashmir were still moving from pillar to post to seek justice and the Indian government continued to shield perpetrators by not cooperating with civil judiciary.
Ishtiyaq Hameed said that four Muslim men were killed by Hindu vigilante groups in separate incidents in India in 2015 on the suspicions that they had slaughtered or stolen cows for beef. He said that the violence took place amid an aggressive push by several BJP leaders and right-wing Hindu groups to protect cows, considered sacred by many Hindus, and for a ban on beef consumption.
He deplored that Churches were also attacked in several states of India in 2015, prompting fears of growing Hindu nationalist militancy under the BJP government. Anti-Muslim rhetoric by several BJP leaders, including members of parliament, further stoked insecurities among religious minorities, he added.
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