India rejects USCIRF report on intolerance, says Constitution guarantees right to freedom of religion

Reacting strongly to US Commission for International Religious Freedom report, India on Tuesday said, USCIRF once again failed to show proper understanding of India, its Constitution and society.

Last Updated: May 03, 2016, 15:40 PM IST
India rejects USCIRF report on intolerance, says Constitution guarantees right to freedom of religion
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New Delhi: Reacting strongly to US Commission for International Religious Freedom report, India on Tuesday said, USCIRF once again failed to show proper understanding of India, its Constitution and society.

The Ministry of External Affairs said, “Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens including the right to freedom of religion. The Government of India doesn't see locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on state of Indian citizens' constitutionally protected rights.”

"We see no locus standi for the report. We take no cognizance of it," MEA tweeted.

New Delhi's reaction comes after the USCIRF, in its 2016 annual report said, religious freedom in India was on a "negative trajectory" in 2015 as religious tolerance "declined" and religious freedom violations "increased".

The USCIRF, in its 2016 annual report, also suggested that the Indian government publicly rebuke officials and religious leaders that make derogatory statements about religious communities.

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan US federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.