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Unfortunate vote bank politics being practised in international relations: India rejects US report

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New Delhi, Jun 03: India on Friday rejected US report on attacks on minorities: "Unfortunate vote bank politics being practised in international relations".

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"We have noted the release of the US State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, and ill-informed comments by senior US officials. It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practised in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided," said foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

"As a naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights. In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence," the official asserted.

The US State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom alleges that in India, attacks on minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, continued throughout the year.

The United States will continue to stand up for religious freedom around the world. We'll keep working alongside other governments, multilateral organisations, civil society to do so, including next month at the United Kingdom's ministerial to advance religious freedom, Blinken told media persons at the release of the annual International Religious Freedom report on Thursday.

At its core, our work is about ensuring that all people have the freedom to pursue the spiritual tradition that most has meaning to their time on earth, he said, noting that the report documents how religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities are under threat in communities around the world.

For example, in India, the world's largest democracy and home to a great diversity of faiths, we've seen rising attacks on people and places of worship; in Vietnam, where authorities harassed members of unregistered religious communities; in Nigeria, where several state governments are using anti-defamation and blasphemy laws to punish people for expressing their beliefs, Blinken said.

The report documents how religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities are under threat in communities around the world.

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