US hails India's ability to manage ''internal situation''

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Washington, Aug 16: The US today (Aug 16) exuded confidence in India's ability to manage its "internal situation" in consistent with democratic values, days after New Delhi took strong exception to the comments by the State Department on handling of peaceful protests in the country.

"India is a very strong and vibrant democracy, and we have confidence in India's ability to manage its internal situation in a manner that is consistent with the democratic values of the state," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.

Nuland was responding to a question about her remarks made last week on the peaceful protest movement against corruption by social activist Anna Hazare.

"We support the right of peaceful, non-violent protest around the world. That said, India is a democracy, and we count on India to exercise appropriate democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful protest," she had said in response to a question last week.

India reacted sharply to her remarks, saying the utterances are "needless".

"We have seen the needless comments by the US State Department Spokesperson on handling of peaceful protests in India. Freedoms of speech and expression, as well as, of peaceful assembly, are enshrined in the Constitution of India and exercised by citizens of this country of 1.2 billion people," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.

PTI

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