NEW DELHI: EU special representative for human rights Eamon Gilmore said on Friday that in his meetings with the Indian government he has discussed issues such as the use of sedition and anti-terrorism laws, condition of minorities, communal violence and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gilmore also said that in his meeting with members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during his India visit, the panel’s role in relation to Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), detentions, bail, sedition and anti-terrorism laws, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), minorities and individual cases, was discussed.
An EU delegation, including Gilmore and EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto, called on Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Delhi on Thursday, a day after it met NHRC chairperson Justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra and other members of the panel.
“At meetings with Government, including @naqvimukhtar, Minister for Minorities, I discussed FCRA, use of sedition and anti-terrorism laws, detentions, the situation of minorities, communal violence, situation in Jammu Kashmir, and individual cases,” Gilmore tweeted, tagging Naqvi’s tweet on their meeting.
On his meeting with NHRC, he thanked the panel for the meeting, at which, he said the NHRC’s role in relation to FCRA, detentions, bail, sedition and anti-terrorism laws, UAPA, minorities and individual cases, was discussed.
According to sources in the Minority Affairs Ministry, Naqvi told the delegation that constitutional and religious rights of every section are absolutely safe in India but “nobody has the right to indulge in forceful and fraudulent religious conversion”.
Naqvi is also learnt to have told the delegation that “not a single major communal riot has taken place in India since 2014”, but there were some conspiracies to “give communal colour” to isolated criminal incidents.
The minister told the delegation that some people have been constantly trying to “defame” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India as a part of a “conspiracy”, the sources said.
He said that sometimes they write letters, while at other times they raise the “bogey of Islamophobia”, according to the sources.
Naqvi also emphasised that the Modi government has given scholarships to over five crore minority students in the last eight years.
He also told the delegation that the percentage of minorities in central government jobs has significantly increased to above 10 per cent.
The sources said the minister told the delegation that terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS may have been successful in their “nefarious designs” in Europe and other countries but they never succeeded in India.
This is only because of India’s strength of cultural co-existence and unity in diversity, he said, according to the sources.
Naqvi tweeted Thursday that he apprised the EU delegation of the effective results of welfare programmes being carried out by the Modi government for the socio-economic-educational empowerment of all sections of the society, including minorities.