M A I N   N E W S

US comments unwarranted, says India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12
India today hit back at the United States for needlessly commenting on the indefinite fast proposed to be undertaken by social activist Anna Hazare from August 16 in support of a stronger Lokpal Bill.

“We have seen the needless comments by the US State Department spokesperson on handling of peaceful protests in India. Freedoms of speech and expression, as well as, of peaceful assembly, are enshrined in the Constitution of India and exercised by citizens of this country of 1.2 billion people,” MEA spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in response to a question.

The sharp reaction by New Delhi came hours after US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington that it counted on India as a democracy to exercise democratic restraint in dealing with peaceful protest.

“As you know, we support the right of peaceful, non-violent protest around the world,” she was quoted as saying when asked if the US was concerned over alleged police brutality against peaceful demonstrators in India.

“That said, India is a democracy, and we count on India to exercise appropriate democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful protest,” the US spokesperson said, responding to a question about planned protests against corruption on August 16.

In her message to greet the people of India on the occasion of the Independence Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also made a remark from which inferences were being drawn.

“India’s Independence movement and the inspirational leadership of Mahatma Gandhi still move people to be the change that they want to see in the world,” she said in the message.





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