India faces diplomatic heat as Delhi violence draws global criticism

File photo of PM Narendra Modi (PTI)
Foreign leaders are reacting to the riots in Delhi that killed more than a 50 people a week ago, prompting India to say its internal matters shouldn't be interfered with. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Thursday asked the Indian government to confront what he called "extremist Hindus and their parties".

Here is what some key leaders are saying. 

“Confront extremist Hindus”, asks Iran’s Supreme Leader

"The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India's isolation from the world of Islam," Khamenei tweeted. Khamenei, who controls all major security and foreign policy decisions, tweeted in English, Urdu, Persian, and Arabic along with a photograph of a child grieving over the body of a man who was killed in the recent violence in Delhi. 

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaks during a meeting with students at the Hussayniyeh of Imam Khomeini in Tehran, Iran, November 3, 2018.
The comment comes just days after the MEA summoned the Iranian envoy over comments made by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. In a tweet on Monday, Zarif said Iran condemned the "wave of organised violence against Indian Muslims" and urged Indian authorities to "not let senseless thuggery" prevail.

MEA hits back at Erdogan, issues demarche 

 India on Thursday hit out at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for "irresponsible" comments over violence in the national capital when it is going through a "sensitive time". External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Erdogan's comments were "factually inaccurate" and driven by his "political agenda". Last week, the Turkish president had severely criticised India for the communal clashes in Delhi and even went on to call them "massacres of Muslims". "India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims. By who? Hindus," Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara.

Kumar said India had made a strong demarche on the matter with the Turkish Ambassador in Delhi on Tuesday.

A security official stands in front of a burning shop following clashes over the new citizenship law, in Gokulpuri. PTI
UNHRC approaches SC over CAA

In a plea filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the UNHCR sought to intervene as an amicus curiae (third party) in the matter by virtue of mandate to protect and promote human rights and to conduct necessary advocacy in that regard. The High Commissioner's office welcomed the "stated purpose of the CAA" to protect "some persons from persecution on religious grounds", but raised the issue of exclusion of various sects of persecuted Muslims under the law. The MEA, however, reiterated that the CAA is an internal matter of India and concerns the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws. 

India is clear that the CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of its constitutional values, Kumar said in a statement. "We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India's sovereignty," Raveesh said.

Rioters during a clash on Tuesday in Northeast Delhi, where fresh violence erupted between people demonstrating for and against the new citizenship law | PTI
Criticism in House of Commons over CAA

Several MPs and members in the House of Commons reacted strongly to the Citizenship Act passed in Delhi. On Wednesday, Nigel Adams, the UK's Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), said the British government is concerned over the potential impact of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India. His response came following an urgent question on recent violence in India by Pakistani-origin Opposition Labour Party MP Khalid Mahmood in the House of Commons.  "At this sensitive time, we would urge people not to make any irresponsible comments and not be influenced by the selective and unsubstantiated narrative on the matter," MEA said.

Democrats in US calls for inclusive India

The unchecked violence has incited protests across the United States as a student-led group from Yale University has called for demonstrations across 21 varsities. The US has urged India to "protect and respect" the right to peaceful assembly of people and hold accountable those perpetrating violence following the Delhi riots. "We strongly condemn the recent violence and urge authorities to protect and respect the right of peaceful assembly and hold accountable those perpetrating violence. We call on all parties to maintain peace and refrain from violence," PTI had quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying. Democrat Colin Allred said that a democracy is only made stronger by its inclusion and respect for the rights of minorities.

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