India also concerned over 'human rights issues' in US: Jaishankar
Reacting to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's recent remarks on a "rise in human rights abuses" in India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India, too, is entitled to have its own views and concerns over the human rights situation in the US. "People are entitled to have views about us...We are also equally entitled to have views [about them]," Jaishankar said.
- Jaishankar's response came on Wednesday after Blinken said the US is monitoring "concerning developments" in India—including an increase in "human rights abuses."
- Blinken made the comments at a joint press conference after Monday's 2+2 dialogue of top American and Indian ministers.
- The remarks come amid the increasing US-India tensions over New Delhi's stance on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the rising communal violence in India.
Jaishankar said India also has its views on "other people's human rights situation, including that of the United States." "So, we take up a human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community... And, in fact, we had a case yesterday [Tuesday]," Jaishankar said, apparently referring to the hate attack against two Sikh men in New York.
On Tuesday, in an alleged hate crime attack, two Sikh men were assaulted in the Richmond Hills area of New York, US. The two attacked men were reportedly on an early morning walk when the attack took place. Notably, the recent attack occurred at the same location where another member of the Sikh community was assaulted about 10 days ago.
Reportedly, incidents of hate crimes against those belonging to the Indian community have been increasing in the United States of late. According to New York State Assemblywoman, Jenifer Rajkumar, such incidents have seen a rise of about 200% in recent years.
In what can be termed a rare, direct rebuke by the US on India, Blinken had on Monday said, "We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights)." "And to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials."
Meanwhile, the US State Department's 2021 Human Rights Practices report, published on Wednesday, also highlighted the alleged violation of human rights in India. It claimed that there were "credible reports" of human rights issues, including "extrajudicial killings by the government or its agents" in India.