EU parliament urges India to safeguard religious minorities in Manipur

The European Parliament passed a resolution regarding the human rights conditions in India, specifically addressing the recent conflicts in Manipur.

The Parliament, located in Strasbourg, France, urged Indian authorities to implement measures that would stop the ethnic and religious violence and ensure the protection of all religious minority groups.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra stated that Indian officials have been contacting concerned EU parliamentarians and emphasizing that the issue is purely an internal matter for India.

Manipur has experienced ongoing violent clashes, particularly between the Kuki and Meitei communities, for nearly two months.

“This is a matter totally internal to India,” Kwatra said, replying to a question on the matter at a press conference in New Delhi. “We made a reach-out to the concerned EU parliamentarians. But we made it very clear that this is a matter absolutely internal to India,” he added.

Pierre Larrouturou, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, introduced the resolution titled ‘India, the situation in Manipur.’

“…Parliament strongly urges the Indian authorities to put in place all necessary measures to promptly halt the ethnic and religious violence and to protect all religious minorities,” reads a press statement from the Parliament on the passed resolution.

The MEPs urged Indian authorities to permit “independent investigations” into the violence and appealed to all parties involved in the conflicts to refrain from making “inflammatory statements.” They also called for the reestablishment of trust and for impartial mediation to help alleviate the tensions.

“Parliament reiterates its call for human rights to be integrated into all areas of the EU-India partnership, including in trade,” the press statement said.

“MEPs also advocate for the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue to be reinforced and encourage the EU and its member states to systematically and publicly raise human rights concerns, notably on freedom of expression, religion and the shrinking space for civil society, with the Indian side at the highest level,” it added.

The timing of the resolution coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to France. He was invited by President Emmanuel Macron to be the Guest of Honour at France’s Bastille Day Parade.

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