New Delhi: In what has turned out to be a huge international embarrassment for India just hours after US President Donald Trump left Indian soil, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Wednesday morning said it was “alarmed by reports of deadly mob violence targeting Muslims in New Delhi and urges the Modi government to rein in mobs and protect religious minorities and others who have been targeted”.
The USCIRF is an “independent, bipartisan US federal government entity that monitors, analyses and reports on threats to religious freedom”.
The US President’s two-day visit to India had been overshadowed by the deadly riots that rocked north-eastern Delhi on Monday and Tuesday, which had also caught the attention of the US media contingent accompanying him. Questions are also being raised on why law and order could not be maintained in all parts of the national capital, especially at a time when a high-profile visit of a top foreign leader such as the US President was taking place.
Just on Tuesday evening at his press conference, President Trump had declined to discuss the controversy over India’s Citizenship Act (CAA) and the violence in parts of Delhi but told had reporters that he had discussed the issue of religious freedom with PM Modi, including “specifically (the subject of) Muslims and Christians”. He had added that India has “worked very hard to have great and open religious freedom” and that “this (religious freedom) is what he (PM Modi) wants”.
“I don’t want to discuss that (the CAA). I want to leave that to India and hopefully, they’re going to make the right decision for the people,” the US President had added. In a joint statement issued meanwhile that vindicated New Delhi’s concerns about cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, the two leaders also “called on Pakistan to ensure that no territory under its control is used to launch terrorist attacks, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot”.