LONDON - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said Washington was monitoring a spike in "human rights abuses" in India by the Modi administration, police and prison officials.

Mr Blinken fired the salvo at New Delhi at a joint press briefing with US defence secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and defence minister Rajnath Singh following the 2+2 meeting in Washington.

"We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values [of human rights] and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials," Mr Blinken said. The Indian ministers who spoke after him did not comment on the rights abuse issue.

His rebuke came just days after congresswoman Ilhan Omar slammed the Biden administration’s reluctance to criticise the Indian government's violation of human rights.

"What does Modi need to do to India’s Muslim population before we will stop considering them a partner in peace," Ms Omar asked. There has been a rise in cases of Islamophobia since Narendra Modi's victory as the country’s prime minister in 2014.

In recent months, Muslims and their livelihoods, food, culture, and homes have been targeted by right-wing groups, many of whose members have openly called for violence against minorities.