Bengaluru: India has made it clear that it will not be granting visas to members of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom as they sought a visit to the country with issues related to India’s religious freedom. 

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External affairs minister S Jaishankar, in a reply to BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, he said, “We have denied a visa to USCIRF teams that have sought to visit India in connection with issues related to religious freedom, as we do not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.”

The body affiliated to US Congress had recommended to the US administration that India be designated a “country of particular concern”.

He also said, “USCIRF has been known to make prejudiced, inaccurate and misleading observations regarding the state of religious freedom in India. We do not take cognisance of these pronouncements and have repudiated such attempts to misrepresent information related to India.” 

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in the 2020 edition of its annual report on International Religious Freedom, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) alleged that religious freedom in India witnessed a drastic downward turn. It also alleged that the religious minorities were under increasing assault in India.

However, India had rejected the claims robustly.

"We reject the observations on India in the USCIRF Annual Report. Its biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels. It has not been able to carry its own Commissioners in its endeavour. We regard it as an organization of particular concern and will treat it accordingly," said a statement by external affairs ministry.

In its report, the watchdog alleged that in 2019, the national government in India had used its strengthened parliamentary majority to institute national-level policies violating religious freedom across the country, especially for Muslims. "Most notably, it enacted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which provides a fast track to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan already residing in India," it alleged.

But the body fails to recognise that CAA is an act formulated to grant citizenship and not snatch it.