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Muslims in India vulnerable: Amnesty International
by Saima Alvi
30 May 2002 07:58 UTC
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Muslims in India vulnerable: AI 

LONDON, May 28: The Muslim community in India became increasingly 
vulnerable to victimization after the Sept 11 attacks in the United States 
and an attack on the Indian parliament in December, Amnesty International 
said on Tuesday. 

The victimization, the London-based rights group added in its annual 
report, was carried out "by both the state and some Hindu political 
groups". "Tension between the police and Muslim groups erupted into rioting 
in different parts of the country," Amnesty said. 

Tension also escalated when Hindu activists began implementing plans to 
rebuild a temple on the site of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya. 

Discrimination and abuse at the hands of police was also suffered by 
socially and economically marginalized sections of society, such as women, 
dalits, adivasis (tribal people) and religious minorities, Amnesty said. 

It said inter-caste and inter-religious tensions "were often politically 
exploited, leading to several violent incidents throughout the country in 
which the police were believed to have taken a partisan role". 

Calls by the United States for a global campaign against "terrorism" 
following the attacks on New York and Washington saw the Indian government 
passing a new law that gives police wide powers of arrest and allows six 
months detention without trial. 

"Human rights organizations were concerned that some provisions were not 
consistent with the rights to freedom of expression and association set out 
in international human rights standards," Amnesty said. 

"In the disputed state of Kashmir, human rights abuses continued to be 
committed by armed groups, police and security forces on a large scale," it 

"Tensions between India and Pakistan on the issue of the support of armed 
groups in Kashmir became a subject of international debate in the context 
of the bombing campaign in Afghanistan by the US and its allies.

Posted from DAWN INTERNET EDITION (dawn.com)

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