US lawmaker Ilhan Omar moves India be declared ‘country of particular concern’

United States lawmaker Ilhan Omar has submitted a resolution in the US House of Representatives to declare India as a “country of particular concern”.

The member of US Democratic Party introduced the resolution co-sponsored by fellow lawmakers representatives Rashida Tlaib, Jim McGovern and Juan Vargas.

The resolution has called upon US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declare India as a “country of particular concern” and has condemned human rights and religious freedom violations in India.

Ilhan Omar, who has been a critic of Modi-led Indian government’s policies, particularly the revocation of Article 370, stated in the resolution that Indian government had escalated repressive policies against Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits. She demanded the State Department to acknowledge the reality of International Religious Freedom Act.

In the resolution, US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report 2022 has been cited multiple times. The report had recommended that the US State Department must designate India as a country of particular concern; however the recommendations were unaccepted at the time.

The USCIRF report highlighted the severe risks linked with Citizenship Amendment Act leaving millions stateless or subject to indefinite detention.

resolution also mentioned that the report cited a 2021 Oxfam India study in which it was stated that a third of Indian Muslims were treated discriminatorily at hospitals during COVID-19 in India.

The resolution also said that the house had expressed grave concerns about the worsening treatment of religious minorities in India and under the International Religious Freedom Act 1998, India was demanded to be added as a country of particular concern.