A day after US lawmakers reacted sharply to the violence in the Indian capital, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Washington accused US President Donald Trump of failing on the issue of human rights.
Slamming the US president, Sanders said Trump's statement on the violence in New Delhi during his India visit was a “failure of leadership”.
Asked about incidents of violence during his India visit, the US president had said, “As far as the individual attacks, I heard about it, but I didn’t discuss that with him (Modi). That’s up to India.”
Reacting to the issue, Sanders on Wednesday tweeted, “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying 'That's up to India'. This is a failure of leadership on human rights.”
Sanders is the second Democratic presidential nominee after Senator Elizabeth Warren to speak against the violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act in New Delhi.
Apart from the Democratic presidential candidate, other influential senators too expressed concern over the developments on Wednesday.
‘Deadly Surge of Religious Intolerance’
The House Foreign Affairs Committee said its Chairman Eliot Engel was “deeply troubled by the deaths from the communal violence in India.” It said the right to protest is a key aspect in democracy, but they must remain peaceful and police must ensure the safety of all.
“I condemn attacks against Muslims in India, and reject violence, bigotry, and religious intolerance. The US State Department should too,” Republican lawmaker Don Beyer tweeted.
US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said the “deadly surge of religious intolerance in India is horrifying”.
"Democracies should not tolerate division and discrimination or promote laws that undermine religious freedom," she tweeted, adding that the "world is watching".
The Indian Parliament had passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last year, resulting in a series of protests across the country.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal too, termed the violence a “tragic failure of moral leadership”.
“We must speak out in the face of threats to human rights in India,” he said.
Democrat presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “It’s important to strengthen relationships with democratic partners like India. But we must be able to speak truthfully about our values, including religious freedom and freedom of expression, and violence against peaceful protesters is never acceptable.”
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib tweeted, “This week, Trump visited India but the real story should be the communal violence targeting Muslims in Delhi right now. We cannot be silent as this tide of anti-Muslim violence continues across India.”
US Dailies Condemn Delhi Violence
The violence in Delhi prominently featured in the mainstream media.
“The riots represent a serious escalation of tensions after months of protests in response to a controversial citizenship law and growing frictions between supporters and opponents of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the Washington Post reported.
“As President Trump toured India's capital, at least 11 people were killed in communal clashes that have upended a working-class neighbourhood,” The New York Times said.
In a tweet, US Commission for International Religious Freedom said it is alarmed by reports of “deadly mob violence targeting Muslims in New Delhi”.
It urged the Modi government to rein in the mob and protect religious minorities.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Delhi violence has risen to 27.
(With inputs from PTI)