New Delhi (Reuters) – India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) showed an “anti-India agenda” by saying that last week’s violent clashes during a Hindu religious festival targeted the Muslim community.
Indian was responding to the OIC’s statement earlier on Tuesday which called on Indian authorities to take firm action against those involved in the violence.
Clashes in cities across several states last week disrupted religious processions during the Hindu festival of Ram Navami.
In Howrah city, in the eastern state of West Bengal, vehicles were set ablaze and shops ransacked as warring groups threw stones at each other.
At least 36 people were arrested in Howrah and 22 in Vadodara in western India’s Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, following the clashes. Local media reported at least two deaths were caused by the violence.
“The OIC General Secretariat denounces such provocative acts of violence and vandalism, which are a vivid manifestation of mounting Islamophobia and systemic targeting of the Muslim community in India,” the 57-member group based in Jeddah said.
India’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, condemned the OIC’s statement.
“This is one more example of their communal mindset and anti-India agenda. OIC only does its reputation damage by being consistently manipulated by anti-India forces,” Bagchi said in a statement on Twitter.