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Recent Violence in India

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Alyn Smith Alyn Smith Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 12:31 pm, 3rd March 2020

There is a lot of agreement across the House, and I commend the Minister on his statement, with which I agreed, as far as it went—we need to be clear that we can go a lot further. The situation has been, as we have heard, occasioned by a deliberate Indian Government policy of targeting Muslims with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. In the short term, there is a real role for the UK Government—this was not mentioned in the statement—to build on the RESIST Government communication framework, as it is obvious that online disinformation is being used in India to inflame tensions. I commend the Government Communication Service and the Cabinet Office on this work. I think that the UK is in a position to undertake a real assessment of the online actors, including malign actors—this is aside from Indian Government policy, which is another issue, and I urge the Minister to step up efforts on dialogue regarding that—as there are online efforts that could be made against that sort of disinformation, as people are at risk of further violence.