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40,000 GLOBAL CITIZENS URGE UN TO PROBE RISING ATTACKS ON MINORITIES, DALITS IN INDIA

A candle light vigil in Ahmedabad against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao. — Reuters

40,000 International Citizens Call On UN to Investigate Human Rights Emergency and Attacks on Religious Minorities and Dalits in India

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LONDON — Urging the United Nations to pay heed to more than 40,000 signatories, rights group, South Asia Solidarity Group, has demanded the world body to investigate the rising attacks on religious minorities like Muslims and Christians and underprivileged Dalits in India.  Keval Bharadia, campaigner for South Asia Solidarity Group, said: “UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Dr Fernand de Varennes must investigate the human rights violations which target religious minorities, specifically Muslims and Christians, and Dalits are occurring on a vast and horrific scale in India today”. (See the petition here.)

“There is a horrifying rise in the rapesmutilationacid attacks and other forms of violence, often followed by murder, of women and girls of all communities, but Dalit women and girls and those from religious minorities are being specifically targeted. Lynchings of Muslims and Dalits, and stripping, flogging and public humiliations have become widespread. Muslim or Dalit and so-called ‘lower-caste’ men in relationships with, or married to, Hindu or upper-caste women have been brutally attacked or murdered – in the name of protecting the purity of the women involved,” he said.

“Many areas, particularly in UP, but also elsewhere have seen attempts at ethnic cleansing with threats and attempts to displace long-established Muslim communities. The election of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of UP, India’s most populous state, in March 2017 has clearly made the human rights situation far worse, further emboldening those perpetrating communal and caste violence in UP and spilling over to other states. Adityanath has a record of hate speech and has several criminal cases pending against him,” pointed out the activist.

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INDIAN AMERICANS DENOUNCE KATHUA, UNNAO RAPES; CALL FOR FAIR AND SPEEDY TRIALS OF ACCUSED

Thousands of demonstrations across South Asia and elsewhere have condemned the attacks. This week, hundreds of people took to the streets in London, UK to protest Narendra Modi’s role in and inaction to the violence as he attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting there.

South Asia Solidarity Group has sent the petition to Dr Fernand de Varennes and hoped he would act for the survivors, and the families and communities of the people who have died as a result of the violent communal attacks and initiate an investigation immediately.

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