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India hits back at United Nations criticism

India hits back at United Nations criticism”

Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, identified as one of the most vulnerable minority communities by the United Nations, have settled in India out of which 16,000 have received official refugee documentation. Ambassador Rajiv K Chander, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, strongly disapproved the statement made by Al Hussein.

Saying that India was "perplexed" at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update, Chander wrote that India was anxious about the security threats that illegal migrants pose, and that enforcing a law "should not be mistaken for lack of compassion".

India hit back at UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein on Tuesday, a day after he criticised the government on alleged human rights violations vis-a-vis Rohingyas, murder of journalists and cow vigilantism.

Further, on observation involving the issue of human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, "It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked". "Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion", he said in a statement. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju had reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it "can dispense with worldwide law on the matter, together with basic human compassion".

Earlier this year, India's universal periodic review (UPR) became a battleground, with New Delhi being pilloried for everything from LGBT rights to Hindu nationalism, J&K, NGO financing etc. "A more informed view would have not only recognised this but also noted, for example, that the Prime Minister himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection". Gauri Lankesh, a journalist who tirelessly addressed the corrosive effect of sectarianism and hatred, was assassinated last week.

The Indian envoy believed that the assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience. "I have been heartened by the subsequent marches calling for protection of the right to freedom of expression", Zeid said.

Lankesh was gunned down last week in Bengaluru.

He also referred to the series of attacks on cattle traders and others by self-declared cow vigilantes, saying, "The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming".



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