Bengal Christian council members walk with placards in a peace rally to demand stop violence in India specially in state Manipur in Kolkata, India, 01 September 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/PIYAL ADHIKARY

UN condemnation of ethnic violence puts India on back foot ahead of G20

New Delhi, Sep 5 (EFE) – The UN’s condemnation of the wave of ethnic violence in northeastern India has put the Asian country on the back foot as it prepares to present its image as a global leader at the upcoming G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi.

India on Tuesday expressed its rejection of the UN criticism from the previous day, calling them unjustified.

The Permanent Mission of India in Geneva rejected criticism by UN human rights experts who denounced serious human rights violations and abuses in the Indian state of Manipur, the epicenter of violence for months, where at least 160 people are estimated to have died in recent months.

In the note verbale issued on Monday to the international rights body and published Tuesday by the PTI agency, the Indian mission underscored that the situation in Manipur was peaceful and stable and termed the criticism by the UN experts as “unwarranted, presumptive and misleading.”

Nevertheless, the UN condemnation has put India under pressure as it is set to become the center of the international geopolitical landscape as the host of the 18th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit this week.

The summit, to be held on Sep 9-10, will be attended by US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others.

The Modi government’s silence about the situation in Manipur has already drawn criticism from the Indian opposition, prompting them to initiate a no-confidence motion in the parliament in August.

Although the motion failed, it achieved its major goal of getting the prime minister to speak on the riots in the parliament, marking his first address in the legislature in five years.

The Manipur conflict has been raging since early May, involving the Meitei ethnic group, who form the majority in the state’s valley region and generally Hindu, and the Kuki community, predominantly Christian and with a stronger presence in the mountains.

According to UN estimates, by mid-August, at least 160 people were killed and more than 300 wounded, while tens of thousands of people were displaced and thousands of homes and hundreds of churches set ablaze in the northeastern state. EFE