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New Citizenship Law: Protests intensify across India

The protest turned violent on Sunday evening just hours after demonstrators injured in the clashes with local police

New Citizenship LawNew Citizenship Law - The protest turned violent on Sunday evening - OyeYeah News
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Atleast six people in the northeast of India have been killed after fresh protest erupted in a number of cities on Monday over a new citizenship law seen as anti-Muslim.

Tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets of a number of Indian cities as protests entered its fifth day.

A large number of people in Protest

The protest turned violent on Sunday evening just hours after demonstrators injured in the clashes with local police in Delhi at Jamia Millia Islamia University.

Demonstrations in the major cities

According to Indian media, major demonstrations are taking place in the capital Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Aligarh, Kolkata, Patna and Raipur.

In the capital police fired tear gas and charged with batons as several thousand demonstrators marched, and rallied outside the Jamia Millia Islamia university and police headquarters.

women protesters

 

Amidst the unrest, four buses and two police vehicles were reportedly gutted. Later, the police stormed the university campus and injured as many as 100 students and a dozen officers, reports Indian media.

Around 50 people were detained on Sunday night  and released on Monday, police said.

protesters demands we oppose citizenship bill

Students insisted in a statement that they isolated themselves from any violence.

“We have time and again maintained that our protests are peaceful and non-violent. We stand by this approach and condemn any party involved in the violence,” they declared.

Internet shut amidst protests

In northern Uttar Pradesh (UP), authorities have shut internet access in western parts of the state following the demonstrations on Aligarh.

Several lawyers have asked the Supreme Court of India to intervene, pointing out that officers had allegedly beaten students in bathrooms, but the chief justice said that the court would not take any action until the protests is stopped.

burnt bus

The UN human rights office said last week it was concerned the law “would appear to undermine the commitment to equality before the law enshrined in India’s constitution”.

Modi accused Congress Party for unrest

Modi on Sunday accused the main opposition Congress party and its allies for the unrest, while Home Minister Amit Shah called for calm.

“Culture, language, social identity and political rights of our brothers and sisters from the northeast will remain intact,” Shah said in a speech.

The new citizenship law is being challenged in the Supreme Court of India by rights groups and a Muslim political party, arguing that it is against the constitution and India’s secular traditions.

The bill fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants from three neighbouring countries. The critics said it is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda to marginalise India’s 200 million Muslims.

the authorSamra Mazhar

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