The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday slammed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) crackdown on the nation’s civil society teams and utilizing its counterterrorism legal guidelines to “silence peaceful dissenters, human rights activists, and journalists”.
In an announcement, the rights group criticised the Indian authorities for finishing up a number of raids on the workplaces of non-governmental organisations, activists’ properties, and a newspaper workplace in occupied Kashmir, Delhi, and Bangalore.
“The raids are part of a crackdown by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on civil society groups,” stated the group. It additionally added that India has introduced “politically motivated criminal cases” to focus on activists, journalists, lecturers, college students, and others and “used foreign funding regulations to target outspoken groups for their human rights work”.
“India faces serious security challenges, but instead of addressing the problems in a rights-respecting manner, the authorities appear determined to crush peaceful criticism and calls for accountability,” stated South Asia Director of HRW Meenakshi Ganguly within the assertion.
“Using authoritarian ways towards outspoken critics and journalists must cease.
“The Indian government seeks to be a global leader, but instead is drawing international criticism by systematically weakening the country’s long-respected democratic institutions,” stated Ganguly.
The rights campaigner stated the federal government ought to change its course and uphold democratic rules and defend the human rights of all Indian residents.
HRW highlighted that India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has accused the focused teams of “raising funds in India and abroad in the name of charitable activities and then using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir”.
The group stated that the NIA raided the workplaces of activists Khurram Parvez, Parvez Ahmad Matta, Swati Sheshadri, chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Parveena Ahangar.
The watchdog additionally stated that the NIA has raided the house of AFP journalist Parvaiz Bukhari; workplace of the Kashmiri newspaper Greater Kashmir; and the nongovernmental group Athrout.
In Delhi, the authorities raided the Charity Alliance and the Human Welfare Foundation. They additionally raided the house of Zafarul-Islam Khan, Charity Alliance head and former chief of the Delhi Minorities Commission.
The group famous that the BJP-led authorities can be more and more utilizing the legal guidelines below the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to “harass organisations that question or criticise government policies and to cut off funds from abroad”.