Indians and Pakistani human rights activists have come together to urge the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation not to honor Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an award in light of the alarming human rights situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
As per reports, two prominent lawyers and activists of Indian origin have strongly urged the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation not to honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an award for his sanitation and toilet access project across India, citing his past month’s “repressive” actions in occupied Kashmir and the northeastern state of Assam.
“While public health is undoubtedly a priority in India and around the world, such an honour would come as his Hindu nationalist party has incited violence against minorities, silenced dissent and curtailed freedom of expression,” Suchitra Vijayan, a lawyer and executive director of the Polis Project, and Arjun Singh Sethi, a human rights lawyer and adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, wrote in an article published in The Washington Post on Saturday.
“Under Modi’s leadership, religious minorities are facing heightened levels of violence, exclusion, and discrimination,” the group have said in an open letter to the Gates Foundation.
India PM Modi had revoked the special constitutional status of occupied Kashmir on August 5 and imposed a military curfew in the valley, imprisoning thousands of ordinary Kashmiris. Pakistan has called for a UN probe into the rights violations in the valley.