PM finally breaks silence on religious violence, says govt won't allow any group to incite hatred

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New Delhi, Feb 17: The government would ensure "complete" freedom of faith for all to have an "undeniable" right to practice any religion without "coercion", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

Addressing a gathering of Christian leaders here, Modi said: "My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith. Everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence."

PM Narendra Modi

The Prime Minister, who has been accused by opposition and Christian groups of turning a blind eye to a string of recent attacks on five churches and a Christian school in Delhi, said his government "gives equal respect to all religions".

"My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence.

"My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions," he said at a function here.

In a stern warning to fringe elements, he said, "We cannot accept violence against any religion on any pretext and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard."

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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