New Delhi on Tuesday expressed its disapproval with remarks made by United Nations over the Rohingya crisis, human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir and issues like murder of Gauri Lankesh and media freedom. India’s the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, on Tuesday expressed said that there appeared to be an inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights, which are “guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions.” He also said that “individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, on Monday, described the situation of Myanmar's Rohingya minority as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and criticised both Yangon and New Delhi, the latter for seeking to deport Rohingyas who fled to India.
“We recognise the role assigned to the OHCHR in effective promotion and protection of human rights. India was part of the first set of countries in the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. India’s UPR Report will be adopted in this session of the HRC. We are pleased to inform you that a large number of recommendations have been accepted. We believe that the UPR is not an end in itself and that observance and promotion of human rights is an ongoing process that can be continuously strengthened,” Chander said, in response to the oral update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the 36th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Al Hussein had also said he was “dismayed” by the rise of intolerance towards religious and other minorities in India. “The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming.”
Referring to attacks on people who speak out for fundamental human rights, he pointed to the murder last week of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who, he said, “tirelessly addressed the corrosive effect of sectarianism and hatred”.
“We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. 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,” he added.
Chander then pointed at the issue of Kashmir and said, “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.”
On Kashmir, Al Husseinregretted what he described as the “reluctance” of India and Pakistan to cooperate with his office on “human rights concerns”, including a failure to grant access to Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the LoC. He had said his office is remotely monitoring the rights situation in Kashmir in order to make the findings public in the near future.
Chander, however, said “India believes that achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgements and verification of facts. Our Government's motto of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' that is All Together and Development for All, is a true reflection of our commitment to achieve inclusive development in the spirit of leaving none of our citizens behind.”
Chander further said that like many other nations, India 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.
“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,” he added.