India Dismisses US Report on Alleged Human Rights Abuses in Manipur, Says Deeply Biased

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: India April 25 firmly rejected the US State Department report on Human Rights in India, which mentioned “significant human rights abuses” during the violence that broke out in Manipur last year and said that the report is “deeply biased” and “reflects a poor understanding of India.”

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“This report is deeply biased and reflects a poor understanding of India. We attach no value to it and urge you to do the same,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal responded to the question asked during the MEA’s press briefing.

The US State Department’s report, “2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: India” alleged that the ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur resulted in “significant human rights abuses.”

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It also said that at least 175 people were killed and more than 60,000 were displaced amid violence.

“The outbreak of ethnic conflict between the Kuki and Meitei ethnic groups during the year in India’s northeastern state of Manipur resulted in significant human rights abuses. Media reported at least 175 persons were killed and more than 60,000 displaced between May 3 and November 15. Activists and journalists reported armed conflict, rapes, and assaults in addition to the destruction of homes, businesses, and places of worship,” the Executive Summary of the US report read.

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“The government deployed security forces, implemented daily curfews, and internet shutdowns in response to the violence. The Supreme Court criticised the failure of the central government and the Manipur state government to halt the violence and appointed officials to investigate incidents of violence and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the rebuilding of homes and places of worship,” it added.

Additionally, on being asked regarding the progress in the ongoing investigation into the foiled assassination plot against India designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

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“We have set up a high-level committee. The high-level committee is looking into several information that was shared by the American side with us because they also equally impact our national security. The high-level committee is looking into those aspects, and that is where it is right now,” he said.

Earlier, in the daily press briefing of the US State Department, when being asked if the US received a report of India’s internal investigation in the case, US Department of State official spokesperson, Mathew Miller, denied sharing any details and asserted that they are looking forward to the results of the investigation on the Indian side.

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“So I’m not going to speak to media reports. I will just say that we have made clear to the Government of India that we want to see them conduct a full investigation, and we continue to look forward to the results of that investigation, but I don’t have any updates to offer,” Miller said.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is an India-designated terrorist who holds American and Canadian citizenship. He has repeatedly issued threats against India.

As per the US Justice Department indictment, an Indian national, Nikhil Gupta, who is currently in custody, has been charged with the murder-for-hire of Pannun. The US Justice Department had claimed that an Indian government employee, who was not identified in the indictment filed, had recruited Gupta to hire a hitman to allegedly assassinate Pannun, which was foiled by US authorities.