India today rejected the oral statement of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at the ongoing 36th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid in his opening address to the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council yesterday deplored India for the measures to repatriate the Rohingya refugees, denial of access to Kashmir, cow vigilantism, attack on the human rights defenders and killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
Responding to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, the Permanent Representative of India to UN in Geneva, stated that assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience.
“We have also noted that the issue of human rights situations in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has been raised. It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked. Assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience”, India told the OHCHR in the statement at the UN Human Rights Council.
Without referring to the Rohingya refugees, India’s statement said just like many other nations, it is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges and that “Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.”
India also sharply reacted to the accusation of violation of human rights by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. India responded saying, “It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights. A more informed view would have not only recognized this but also noted, for example, that the Prime Minister himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection. India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified.”
India further stated that “There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions. Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”
The rights groups in the country, however, complain that despite Prime Minister publicly condemning violence in the name of cow protection, violent incidents continue and the Supreme Court had to intervene last week asking the government to designate special police officer in each district to address the menace of violence in the name of cow protection.