Published: Thu, February 27, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Deadly protests erupt in India over controversial citizenship law

Deadly protests erupt in India over controversial citizenship law

Police used tear gas to disperse crowds but have also been accused of allowing and even protecting Hindu mobs as they attacked Muslims.

Nationwide protests followed, with many opponents saying the law is discriminatory and breaks from India's secular traditions.

The supreme court said police had not done enough to check the violence, or incendiary statements by a leader of Mr Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

The demonstrations against the law have led to other violent protests since it passed in December, but demonstrations had been mostly peaceful in New Delhi.

The violence has also drawn comparisons with India's previous sectarian riots, including when more than 800 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in 2002 after a train fire killed 60 Hindu pilgrims.

The northeast district of the Indian national capital witnessed widespread violence following clashes between two communities over a citizenship law on Monday and Tuesday, while US President Donald Trump was on an official visit to the country.

"I don't know if our house was burned or not, but when we were running away we heard them asking people to pour kerosene and burn everything down", Khan said.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits "happiness" class at Delhi school
As soon as she reached the school, the students and teachers of the school gave a great welcome to the first lady of America. Smiling at the questions, Melania answered their queries and asked them what they were making with clay.

According to the officials, 25 people died during treatment at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in Shahdara area while two others succumbed to their injuries at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital near Delhi Gate.

Twenty three people have been killed so far in the deadliest violence that the city has seen in decades.

Men ride a motorbike past security forces patrolling a street in a riot-affected area after clashes erupted between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 26, 2020.

Several reports by Indian media outlets said Muslim localities in the Indian capital were attacked by Hindu mobs screaming pro-Hindu slogans. While the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Delhi Police are doing everything to bring the situation under control, Twitter users are questioning their actions. At the same time, many locals gathered at India Gate to appeal for peace after one of the worst incidences of violence since the protests against the bill started in December a year ago.

"The police should have protected both sides, but they only helped one side", local resident Mohammad Arif said.

"One of the essential duties of any responsible government is to provide protection and physical security for its citizens, regardless of faith", said USCIRF Chairman Tony Perkins, a conservative close to the Trump administration.

"We don't have a problem with the police, we are against the Government's law", the announcer said. "We also reiterate that you should immediately call for the removal of the Home Minister for his inability to contain violence".

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