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India's Modi to invest millions in Hindu temple in Gulf state

Arab states have been accused of remaining mostly silent on the Kashmir crisis [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2019

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India's nationalist leader has announced that he will invest millions of dollars into a Hindu temple in the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain, where a large South Asian population lives.

India's nationalist leader has announced that he will invest millions of dollars into a Hindu temple in the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain, where a large South Asian population lives.

Narendra Modi made the announcement ahead of his first state visit to Bahrain this weekend, which comes amid an Indian government crackdown on Muslim-majority Kashmir.

Modi will invest over $4 million into a renovation project for the 200-year-old Sree Krishna temple in the Bahraini capital Manama, The Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

Half of Bahrain's population is made up of South Asian labourers.

It is also home to a sizable community of naturalised Hindus merchant families who immigrated to the island before the discovery of oil reserves.

Modi's visit comes amid heightened global attention on Indian-administered Kashmir, which was controversially stripped of its autonomous status by New Dehli earlier this month.

India followed up the move with a communications blackout in Kashmir, while also restricting movement in the region.

At least 4,000 people have been arrested and held under India's Public Safety Act, a controversial law allowing authorities to jail someone for up to two years without charge, aid the unrest triggered by Modi's decision.

Police have also deployed tear gas and pellet guns against protesters.

Arab states have been accused of remaining mostly silent on the issue, with analysts putting this down to the $100 billion in annual trade between Gulf Arab countries and India.

The Indian leader is also set to visit the United Arab Emirates, where authorities will award him their highest civilian award.

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