Khalid Mahmood questions ministers on recent violence in India
3 March 2020
Khalid Mahmood asked the Foreign Secretary an urgent question about violence towards Muslims protesting a new citizenship law in India.
Violent clashes between Muslim protesters in Delhi and Hindu nationalists have killed over 40 people and injured hundreds.
The attacks largely targeted Muslims protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) passed by India's Hindu nationalist-led government, helmed by President Narenda Modi, that would deprive Muslim refugees of citizenship. The Indian government has been accused of using authoritarian measures to put a stop to protests.
Khalid Mahmood MP asked the Foreign Secretary for a statement on the conflict.
Nigel Adams: "concerning"
On behalf of the Foreign Secretary, Nigel Adams MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told the House that the UK Government was monitoring the situation in India "closely" and called the situation "concerning".
Mr Adams praised India's "proud history of inclusive government", and emphasised the need for tolerance. He said that UK government "have concerns" about the CAA and its impact on minority rights, and stated that the UK had repeatedly raised the issue with India.
The Minister for concluded:
"We will continue to follow events closely and continue to raise concerns where we have them."
Khalid Mahmood: "no regard for human rights"
Responding to the Minister's comments, Khalid Mahmood MP said that the riots were "sickening". He warned that the CAA would be followed by a National Register of Citizens that would lead Muslims being "held in concentration camps" before being deported.
Mr Mahmood said that Modi's actions were translating his 'India for the Hindus' was slogan into "a hateful nationalist slogan into brutality". He told the House of the Muslims beaten and murdered in the streets while the police do nothing and "Modi cynically counts the benefits of electoral success".
The MP asked what the Government was doing to help the Muslim population in India, and questioned if the Minister has raised the issue with his Indian counterpart or threatened to raise it to at a Commonwealth and UN level.
"If India behaves like this – like a state with no regard for human rights and the rule of law or the freedom or religion – it must urgently be made to face the consequences of its behaviour."
- Watch Parliament TV: Urgent Question on Recent Violence in India
- Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
Image: Pexels via Pixabay