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India Has Rights Issues, Situation Improving In J&K: US State Department

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

It mentioned restrictions on freedom of expression and the press, including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists, use of criminal laws to

prosecute social media speech, censorship and site blocking. India has in the past rejected similarreports.

Washington: India has several significant human rights issues, including restrictions on freedom of expression and the press, corruption and tolerance of violations of religious freedom, a report of the US state department said on Tuesday. The report notes that the government has taken steps to improve the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir and restore normalcy in the former state, which was split into two union territories after its special status was scrapped in 2019.

In its 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices; to the US Congress, the Department of State noted what it called an improvement in the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The government continued taking steps to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir by gradually lifting some security and communications restrictions," said the State Department in its India section of the report. The government released most political activists from detention, it added.

In January, the government partially restored internet access; however, high-speed 4G mobile internet remained restricted in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir. The government began a process to redraw electoral constituencies but did not announce a timeline for local assembly elections. Local district development council elections took place in December in which a coalition of Kashmiri opposition parties won the majority of seats, the report said.

India has in the past rejected similar reports alleging human rights violation.

Among other human rights issues by the State Department include overly restrictive rules on

nongovernmental organisations; restrictions on political participation; widespread corruption at all levels in the government and lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women.In its report, the US State Department also talks about tolerance of violations of religious freedom; crimes involving violence and discrimination targeting members of minority groups including women based on religious affiliation or social status; and forced and compulsory child labour, as well as bonded labour.

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