US Human rights group protests in DC during PM Modi’s visit to highlight persecution of critics, minorities

Washington: Human rights, civil rights groups and interfaith leaders opposed to state-sanctioned discrimination, intimidation, persecution, physical attacks and killings of religious minorities by Hindu right-wing groups in India reportedly gathered near the White House on Thursday to protest the U.S. visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party leads the decades-old Hindu supremacist movement known as Hindutva that is systematically persecuting Muslims, Christians, Jews, Dalits and other non-Hindu minorities by denying basic economic, employment, human and civil rights by statute, state policy and physical attack,” said a statement from Coalition to Stop Genocide, which organised the protest on Thursday.

The, according to the organisation, was scheduled to be held in Lafayette Park, Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The organisation also issued ‘Genocide Watch: Genocide Emergency: India report placing India at stage No. 8 – persecution – on the 10-point scale leading to genocide’, adding that although the government is not yet at the mass extermination phase, No. 9, it is already at No. 10 – which is official denial.

In its statement, Coalition to Stop Genocide said that it was holding the protest to focus the world’s attention on the growing threat of Hindu right-wing nationalism, Hindutva, and to build support for pressuring the Indian government to take action to overturn policies and laws enacted specifically to deny basic human and civil rights to 10s of millions of Indian citizens.