The briefing on violence against religious minorities in India was hosted by Friends of the American Sikh Caucus and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on June 3, 2015. Rep. Patrick Meehan spoke at the event, while panelists discussed anti-conversion laws, communal violence, Ghar Wapsi, and the persecution of religious minorities (Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs) in India. Also, Dr. Mohan Nirala was introduced by the president of the caucus and spoke about Indian Buddhists to attendees and panel members.
The panel made the following recommendations:
- The U.S. government should integrate concerns for religious violence using bilateral contacts with India, including the framework of future strategic dialogues at both federal and provincial level to implement effective measures to prohibit and punish cases of religious violence and protect victims and witnesses.
- The U.S. government should increase the U.S. embassy’s attention to issues of religious freedom and human rights.
- The U.S. government should urge India to boost training on human rights and religious freedom standards and practices for police and judiciary.
- The U.S. government should urge the central Indian government to press states that have adopted anti-conversion laws to repeal or amend them to conform with internationally recognized human rights standards.
- The U.S. government should urge the Indian government to publicly rebuke government officials and religious leaders who make derogatory statements about religious communities.