The Diplomat : Violence Against Indian Muslims Must Be Urgently Investigated

There is enough evidence that some of these acts amount to crimes against humanity.

A Muslim man stands behind an iron gate which was bolted from outside by authorities during the demolition of Muslim-owned shops in New Delhi’s northwest Jahangirpuri neighborhood, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

By Stephen Rapp / The Diplomat

As India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence on August 15, it is far from the equal society envisioned by its founding father, Mohandas Gandhi. Evidence is mounting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is encouraging some of the most flagrant anti-Muslim discrimination seen in any democracy.

Credible reports suggest that a growing number of the country’s 200 million Muslims are subject to planned and targeted threats, assault, sexual violence, and killings. Despite a grave deterioration in the protection of the human rights of India’s largest minority, the reaction from the international community so far is notable for its silence. This must change.

Two decades ago, at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, I led the team that successfully prosecuted media leaders for direct and public incitement to genocide. Though there is no comparison between the current situation in India and the 100 days of mass murder that left over 800,000 dead in Rwanda in 1994, some of the hate speech that incited that genocide is familiar to the messages delivered at the highest levels of Indian politics and society today. In some cases, it is as explicit.

In the northern state of Uttarakhand, Hindu religious leaders allied to the ruling BJP party, recently called for a “cleanliness drive” against Muslims. Sadhvi Annapurna, national president of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, called for the complete annihilation of India’s Muslims, saying: “If you want to eliminate their population then be ready to kill them…. If only a hundred of us become soldiers and each kills 20 lakhs (2 million) we will be victorious.”

This story was originally published in . Read the full story here

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