Human Rights Watch said that the Indian Government has failed to stop attacks on religious minorities during 2017. It stated that leaders of the ruling BJP publicly promoted Hindu supremacy at the expense of fundamental rights for all Indians. The report said that at-least 38 attacks have happened in the name of cow-protection and 10 were killed. It is ironical to note that police frequently filed complaints against the victims.
South Asia Director at Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly said,”Indian authorities have proven themselves unwilling to protect minority religious communities and other vulnerable groups from frequent attack,”.“There needs to be a serious effort to prevent future attacks and to prosecute all those responsible for the violence,” She added.
In the 643-page World Report, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries.
In August, India’s Supreme Court declared the right to individual privacy “intrinsic” and fundamental under the country’s constitution, and emphasized the constitution’s protections, including free speech, rule of law, and “guarantees against authoritarian behavior.”
The report also alleged that Indian authorities also harassed and brought charges, including for sedition and criminal defamation, against activists, academics, journalists, and others critical of government actions or policies. Threats of legal action and arbitrary corruption investigations put increasing pressure on journalists and media outlets to self-censor.It has also been said that the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was also used to cut off funds and harass activists.
State governments resorted to blanket internet shutdowns in misguided attempts to prevent violence or social unrest, or to maintain law and order. By November, they had imposed 60 internet shutdowns, 27 of these in Jammu and Kashmir state.