LONDON: A delegation comprising followers of all faiths presented a five-page memorandum at the 10-Downing Street for Prime Minister Theresa May here on Sunday. The move was initiated as part of protest and demonstration on the eve of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the UK, to help tackle the threats to their national homelands and religious freedoms across Indian controlled territories.
The campaigners point what they called the alarming rise of Indian PM Modi’s BJP party and its right-wing extremist Hindutva affiliates which now effectively control the country’s political system, both at central and state level. Indian PM Narendra Modi is due to attend the Commonwealth gathering and also to engage in bilateral talks with the British government.
The campaign group ‘Minorities Against Modi’ submitted a memorandum at Downing Street calling on UK PM Theresa May to hold Indian PM to account for the mass human rights violations that have blighted not only his own record in office but also during previous decades of systematic violations which have involved genocide, extra-judicial killings, torture, disappearances, detention of political opponents, the mob lynching of freedom campaigners and religious minorities.
Those abuses have been documented by international human rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other reputable groups, the memorandum claims. The memo says that the shocking news emerging from Kashmir this week of an eight-year Muslim old girl being gang raped and brutally murdered by Hindu extremists – and the subsequent attempts by BJP legislators to shield the them – has brought international condemnation from the UN itself.
The memorandum, supported by some thirty organisations and community representatives, highlighted the need for international intervention to get India to reverse its formal rejection of the right of self-determination as enshrined in Article 1 of the 1966Covenants on Human Rights. The campaign group points out that India’s unlawful position on such a fundamental norm of international law has resulted directly in tragic and disastrous conflicts in Kashmir, Punjab, Assam and other regions. A debate in the House of Lords this week will consider what steps the UK government can take to help bring that change, so that peaceable conflict resolution can be pursued with a view to bringing peace and justice to those regions. The memorandum also calls for international action to stop the persecution of religious minorities by Indian state and non-state actors.