India on Friday called the Freedom House report claiming India's status as a free country has downgraded to ‘partly free’ as "misleading, incorrect and misplaced," NDTV reported.
In a sharp rebuttal to the assessment of the US-based think tank, the government said, this was incorrect is clear from the fact that many states in India are ruled by parties other than the one at the national level, through an election process which is free and fair and is held by an independent election body.
"This reflects the working of a vibrant democracy, which gives space to those who hold varying views," the statement said.
"The Government of India treats all its citizens with equality as enshrined under the constitution of the country and all laws are applied without discrimination. Due process of law is followed in matters relating to law and order, irrespective of the identity of the alleged instigator," the centre said.
"With specific reference to the North East Delhi riots in January 2019, the law enforcement machinery acted swiftly in an impartial and fair manner. Proportionate and appropriate actions were taken to control the situation. Necessary legal and preventive actions were taken by the law enforcement machinery on all complaints/calls received, as per law and procedures."
"Therefore, measures as deemed fit are taken by law enforcement authorities to preserve public order," it said.
It Centre added, "Taking into consideration these facts, the global experience and need for consistency in the approach and implementation of various containment measures across the country, a nationwide lockdown was announced.”