After Ansari, US report claims Muslims in India feel vulnerable

Washington : There was an increase in violent incidents by cow protection groups mostly against Muslims in India in the year 2016, an official US report on international religious freedom said on Tuesday, noting that authorities often “failed” to prosecute cow vigilantes.

The report, the first under the Trump administration, released by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said members of the civil society expressed concerns that under the BJP government religious minority communities felt vulnerable due to Hindu nationalist groups engaging in violence against non-Hindu individuals and places of worship.

“There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytize,” the US State Department said in its annual report, which does a country-wise review of the religious freedom in the year 2016.

The report said that there was an increase in violent incidents by cow protection groups against mostly Muslims, including killings, mob violence, assaults, and intimidation.

Listing out some of the anti-minorities incidents by cow protection groups, the report said that the authorities often “failed” to prosecute the offenders.

In its report, the State Department notes that the Supreme Court was considering a case challenging the constitutionality of the Islamic practice of triple talaq, the federal government filed a brief in support of the challenge.

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