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Trump echoes Modi, Democrats amplify Indian opposition over Delhi riots

New Delhi/Washington:  While the Donald Trump administration echoed Indian government’s call for calm, the US Democrats amplified India’s opposition over the Delhi communal violence.

In a statement, the US state department said, “Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased and injured in New Delhi. We echo Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for calm and normalcy and urge all parties to maintain peace, refrain from violence, and respect the right of peaceful assembly.”

On the other hand, the US Presidential candidate and Democrat senator Bernie Sanders claimed that the violence in Delhi was targeted specifically at a particular community.

“Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, ‘That’s up to India’,” Sanders tweeted, adding, “This is a failure of leadership on human rights.”

The Democrat senator from Vermont was referring to US President Donald Trump’s response to a question related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) during a news conference shortly before he concluded a two-day visit in India.

Trump had said that he “heard about” the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), but that it is “up to India”, indicating that the US was not going to interfere in India’s internal affairs. Incidentally, rioting erupted between pro and anti-CAA protesters in Delhi while Trump was on his maiden state visit to India.

Sanders is the second Democratic presidential nominee after Senator Elizabeth Warren to speak against the violence over the CAA in Delhi. The 78-year-old senator, who is one of the staunchest critics of Trump and hopes to run against him in the presidential elections later this year, also criticised Trump for his defence deal with India.

“Instead of selling $3 billion in weapons to enrich Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed, the United States should be partnering with India to fight climate change,” he tweeted.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that Democrats have aligned themselves with the opposition in India. The US opposition has been taking the same stand as the Indian opposition over most of the Modi government’s decisions.

Last year, Democrats slammed the Indian government over the reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir and the nullification of Article 370. Sanders was the first US presidential candidate to publicly rebuke India for its decision. He criticised India while speaking on the platform of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

Most of Sanders’ anti-India remarks, his critics say, come from his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, a Pakistani-American. Sanders’ scathing commentary against India often makes news headlines in Pakistan.