The Foreign Office on Monday strongly condemned the recent spree of targeted attacks against the Muslim community by "fanatic Hindu mobs" in various Indian states, calling the international community to hold the country accountable "for its gross and widespread human rights violations".

Indian police had on Sunday arrested 14 people in connection with violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims during a Hindu religious procession in New Delhi. Six police officers and several others were injured on Saturday during scuffles that marred the procession at a festival in Jahangirpuri, a suburban section of New Delhi.

In recent weeks, religious clashes have broken out between the majority Hindu and minority Muslim communities during religious processions in several parts of the country.

Referring to a recent incident in Jahangirpuri, the FO pointed out that attempts to hoist the saffron flag at Delhi's Jamia Masjid, derogatory sloganeering, playing of provocative music and the brandishing of weapons by a Hindu procession while Muslims were waiting to break their fast revealed the "gravity of the state-sanctioned hysteria and hatred in India against Muslims".

"This incident has re-kindled the horrific memories of the Delhi pogrom of February 2020, which was aimed to discriminate, dispossess and dehumanise the Muslim community," the FO said.

The FO also referred to the Ram Navami riots, which spread across many Indian states, saying that they spotlighted the country's "precipitous slide ... into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’".

"Harrowing scenes of demolition of houses, businesses and shops belonging to Muslims and the vandalisation of mosques by local authorities in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat reveal the deep penetration of Hindutva ideology into the fabric of Indian state and society."

The statement said it was regrettable to note a rapidly increasing trend in India of using Hindu religious processions to fan communal hatred and instigate anti-Muslim violence.

"Even more alarming is the fact that the local authorities that were evidently complicit in the fear-mongering have launched a concerted campaign against the Muslims on the pretext of a crackdown against ‘alleged rioters'," the FO added.

It said that Pakistan called upon the Indian government to transparently investigate the incidents of widespread violence and intimidation against Muslims and their places of worship and initiate demonstrable efforts to prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents.

Pakistan also called upon the international community, particularly the United Nations and relevant international human rights and humanitarian organisations to question India and hold it accountable for repeated violations of human rights in the country.

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