Citing Teesta Setalvad, US report slams India over human rights violations
Citing the police case against activist Teesta Setalvad, a report has slammed India over alleged human rights violations. A US state department report titled Human Rights Practices in India for 2016 also made a mention about restrictions on foreign funding of Non-Governmental Organisations.
The report makes a mention about the rejection of renewal of government permission to 25 NGOs to receive foreign funds. It said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly and Association published a legal analysis claiming that Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (a law that governs foreign funding) did not conform to international law, principles, and standards, after which the Indian government was asked to repeal the Act.
On Setalvad, the report termed the police case as an alleged violation of human rights. She was charged with embezzlement after donors claimed Setalvad, the founder of NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, misused Rs 1.5 million collected for building a memorial to the victims of the Gulbarg Housing Society massacre during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The killing of eight suspected members of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India in a police encounter after they escaped from Bhopal central jail also found a mention in the report. The encounter has been termed as a politically motivated killing.
A reference to the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh was also made. The report termed it as an example of corruption and lack of transparency in government. A lack of accountability for misconduct at all levels of government persisted, contributing to widespread impunity, the report states.