Religious rights of every section absolutely safe in India, Naqvi assures visiting EU delegation

The minister told the delegation that some people have been constantly trying to "defame" Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India as a part of a "conspiracy", the sources said.

New Delhi: Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a visiting European Union delegation, including EU special representative for human rights Eamon Gilmore, that constitutional and religious rights of every section are absolutely safe in India, sources in the ministry said on Thursday.

The six-member delegation, which included Gilmore and EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto, called on Naqvi in Delhi, a day after they met National Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra and other members of the panel.

According to sources in the Minority Affairs Ministry, Naqvi told the delegation that constitutional and religious rights of every section are absolutely safe in India but “nobody has the right to indulge in forceful and fraudulent religious conversion”.

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The minister told the delegation that some people have been constantly trying to “defame” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India as a part of a “conspiracy”, the sources said.

He said that sometimes they write letters, while at other times they raise the “bogey of Islamophobia”, according to the sources.

Naqvi emphasised that the Modi government has given scholarships to over five crore minority students in the last eight years.

He also told the delegation that the percentage of minorities in central government jobs has significantly increased to above 10 per cent.

The sources said the minister told the delegation that the terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS may have been successful in their “nefarious designs” in Europe and other countries but they never succeeded in India.

This is only because of India’s strength of cultural co-existence and unity in diversity, he said, according to the sources.

Naqvi tweeted that a delegation of the European Union led by Gilmore and Astuto met him in New Delhi and he apprised them of the effective results of welfare programmes being carried out by the Modi government for the socio-economic-educational empowerment of all sections of the society, including the minorities.

There was no official word from the side of the EU delegation on the meeting with Naqvi.

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