India has justified denying a visa for a delegation from US government by saying that it does not want to permit a foreign entity to impose conclusions on the state of religious freedom in their country.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Thursday declared that they prepared a fact-finding project to investigate the cases of discrimination against religious minorities in India. They added India has disrupted their mission by blocking their entry into the country.
The commission’s statement was revised by the Indian Embassy in Washington explaining that they regretted the refusal of the visa to its delegation but didn’t intend to reconsider the decision.
The embassy said that the policy of Indian government regarding such visits will not change.
The embassy insisted that “India is a vibrant pluralistic society” and its Constitution guaranteed fundamental rights to all its citizens including the right to freedom of religion.
“We do not see the locus standi (legal standing) of a foreign entity like USCIRF pass its judgment and comment on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.”
In its latest report on India, the commission also recognised India as a pluralistic, secular democracy, but pointed out that the country “has long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, which perpetuates a climate of impunity”.
The commission also noted that “incidents of religiously-motivated and communal violence reportedly have increased” since the present government came to power.