Washington, May 30 (KMS): The US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2017 has criticized the Indian authorities for not registering cases against attacks by Hindu “cow vigilantes” on Muslims in India and occupied Kashmir.

The report released on Tuesday said that a group of “cow vigilantes” attacked a Muslim family in Reasi area of occupied Kashmir on April 25, leaving at least seven persons injured. “The family members were transporting a herd of cattle when the individuals attacked them,” the report said. It deplored that the police charged the Muslim family with transporting cattle without permission.

The report made a mention of an attack by a Hindu mob on a Muslim journalist in New Delhi. It said, “On June 7, during Ramadan, a mob demolished a mosque under construction in New Delhi. Two days later a mob assaulted and handed over to police Basit Malik, a Kashmiri Muslim freelance journalist who had gone to the neighborhood to investigate the demolition. …. Malik reportedly declined to file a police complaint,” the report added.

The US report also discussed frequent restrictions imposed by the Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir. “On September 8, the Jammu and Kashmir State government imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar limiting protests against Burmese treatment of its Muslim Rohingya population. The restrictions included a ban on Friday Islamic prayers. The Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), a Kashmiri council of Muslim leaders and scholars, had called for protests following Friday prayers to express solidarity with Rohingyas, and authorities placed under house arrest MMU leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

The report quoted an MMU spokesperson as having stated that the authorities continue to follow the policy of oppression and disallow Friday prayers which is a direct interference in religious affairs.


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