India likely to experience ‘Communal Violence’ before General elections warns US Intelligence Director

Washington: India will experience communal violence if the ruling party BJP stresses on Hindu nationalist themes ahead of the upcoming general elections slated for May warns American Intelligence report on Tuesday.

The US intelligence report is a community’s assessment of worldwide threats in the year 2019 which was presented in the form of a written document to the powerful Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, News18 reports.

“Parliamentary elections in India increase the possibility of communal violence if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stresses Hindu nationalist themes,” Dan Coats told the US Senate select committee.

The top American intelligence agencies including CIA Director Gina Haspel, who has just returned after visiting India, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley, Dan Coats, were the prominent ones that have appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to present their worldwide threat assessment.

“BJP policies during Modi’s first term have deepened communal tensions in some BJP-governed states, and Hindu nationalist state leaders might view a Hindu-nationalist campaign as a signal to incite low-level violence to animate their supporters,” Coats said in his written statement.

“Increasing communal clashes could alienate Indian Muslims and allow Islamist terrorist groups in India to expand their influence,” Coats warned.

India is slated to go on general elections in the month of May which ends the five-year term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also warned of a strained India-Pakistan relationship ahead of these general elections.

“We judge that cross-border terrorism, firing across the Line of Control (LoC), divisive national elections in India, and Islamabad’s perception of its position with the United States relative to India will contribute to strained India-Pakistan relations at least through May 2019, the deadline for the Indian election, and probably beyond,” he said.

The continued terror attacks in J&K region, cross-border firing in Kashmir have already hardened each country’s position and also reduced their political will to solve these disturbing issues.

“Political maneuvering resulting from the Indian national elections probably will further constrain near-term opportunities for improving ties,” it said.