The annual U.S. report on human rights practices released on Monday listed "significant human rights issues" and abuses in India, including reported targeting of religious minorities, dissidents and journalists, the U.S. State Department said.

The findings come nearly a year after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was monitoring what he described as a rise in human rights abuses in India by some government, police and prison officials, in a rare direct rebuke by Washington of the Asian nation's rights record.

U.S. criticism of India is rare due to close economic ties between the countries and India's increasing importance for Washington to counter China in the region.