Comments by USCIRF, others on Delhi violence attempt to politicise issue: MEA
New Delhi, Feb 27: India on Thursday described the comments by a US commission on religious freedom and by "few individuals" over violence in the national capital as "factually inaccurate, misleading" and an attempt to politicise the issue.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar's reaction came a day after the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed "grave concern" over the violence in Delhi and asked the Indian government to provide protection to people irrespective of their faith.
US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and a number of other leading American lawmakers have also expressed concern over the clashes in several parts of Delhi in which at least 34 people have been killed.
“We have seen comments made by USCIRF, sections of the media and a few individuals regarding recent incidents of violence in Delhi. These are factually inaccurate and misleading, and appear to be aimed at politicising the issue," Kumar said.
Though MEA did not clarify the individuals being referred to, it is being seen as a reference to US lawmakers critical of India on the issue of the Delhi violence.
Kumar said law enforcement agencies are working on the ground to prevent violence and ensure restoration of confidence and normalcy.
"Senior representatives of the government have been involved in that process. The prime minister has publicly appealed for peace and brotherhood. We would urge that irresponsible comments are not made at this sensitive time," said Kumar.
MEA also urged bodies like the OIC not to make irresponsible statements at this sensitive time.
"The statements which have come out of OIC are factually inaccurate, they are selective, they are misleading. There is an effort on the ground, to restore normalcy, to create confidence," Kumar said.
"We urge these bodies not to indulge in irresponsible statements at this sensitive time," he said.
The OIC has condemned the violence in Delhi and alleged discrimination against Muslims.
Earlier, expressing concern over the violence in New Delhi, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the Government of India to take swift action for the safety of its citizens.
Expressing "grave concern" over it, the USCIRF said the Indian government should provide protection to people regardless of their faith amid reports of attack on Muslims.
"We urge the Indian government to make serious efforts to protect Muslims and others targeted by mob violence," USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
"The ongoing violence we are witnessing in Delhi and the reported attacks against Muslims, their homes and shops, and their houses of worship are greatly disturbing. One of the essential duties of any responsible government is to provide protection and physical security for its citizens, regardless of faith," Tony Perkins said.
USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava too said the "brutal and unchecked violence" across Delhi cannot continue.