Hindu American Foundation condemns Delhi sectarian violence

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Members of Rapid Action Force (RAF) move past smoldering debris after it was set on fire by demonstrators in a riot affected area after fresh clashes erupted between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The Hindu American Foundation, a non-governmental rights organization that advocates for the rights of Hindus around the world, condemned the ongoing communal violence in New Delhi which has claimed more than 30 lives so far

“We strongly condemn the violence, loss of life, and destruction of places of worship in India this week. There is no religious, historical, or political justification possible for what is happening in New Delhi,” said HAF Executive Director Suhag Shukla in a statement Feb. 26, 2020.

“Hindu Americans stand for peace, pluralism, democracy, equal rights, and the rule of law here at home in the United States, in India, and anywhere in the world,” she added.

“The perpetrators, no matter the religious community to which they belong, should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Shukla.

“Those people battling in the streets — throwing stones, acid, brandishing firearms, setting fire to businesses and places of worship — are all violating the law. We urge Indian law enforcement officers to uphold their duty to protect the public and better maintain law and order,” Shukla said. She also urged those making inflammatory statements “to take stock of the destructive impact of their words and cease.”

The HAF is calling for greater understanding and dialogue among religious community leaders, civil society, and Indian government officials. Media, non-governmental organizations, and observers from all communities must understand their role and duty in informing rather than inciting the citizenry, in defusing this tragic situation.

“Hindu Americans have faith that through frank and honest dialogue, respect for rule of law, and the upholding of the rights and freedoms of all India’s citizens, this violence can be both be stopped now, as well as be prevented in the future,” Shukla said.

 

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