India must take steps to ensure that minorities are protected: WSO

THE World Sikh Organization of Canada said on Tuesday it is gravely concerned by the deteriorating situation in Delhi, India. According to news reports, mobs shouting “Jai Shri Ram” have attacked Muslim homes and businesses in Muslim populated areas in north-east Delhi and also set a mosque ablaze in Delhi’s Ashok Nagar.

Reporters themselves have in many cases been attacked or asked to prove that they are not Muslims. Indian police have been ineffective in controlling the violence and in some cases have been recorded siding with the mobs and attacking Muslims. Thirteen deaths have so far been reported.

The violence erupted on Sunday after supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by the BJP Government last December, attacked anti-government protest sites. The CAA, which has been described as “anti-Muslim”, has triggered nationwide protests.

A day earlier, BJP leader, Kapil Mishra publicly threatened violence if protestors did not end their peaceful sit-ins.

WSO President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said: “We are deeply disturbed by the violence in Delhi. Once again, we are seeing communal attacks on minorities in India with police assisting the mobs and themselves engaging in violence. Reporters have also been attacked. It is deeply disturbing that it was a member of the ruling BJP party that had warned of violence if the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) did not end.

“India has repeatedly seen attacks against minorities, including Sikhs, Muslims and Christians, that have been either sanctioned by the state or ignored. The Government of India must take steps to ensure that minorities are protected and that those engaging in violent attacks are arrested and held accountable.”