Daily US Times, Delhi: Thirteen people have been killed in the streets of India’s capital Delhi in protests against India’s controversial new citizenship law when US President Donald Trump is currently visiting the country.
The deadliest religious violence in the Indian capital marred Trump’s visit.
Violence has erupted again in parts of north-east Delhi, where on Monday night deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of the law took place. There are fears of further clashes.
Three journalists have been attacked and protesters are throwing stones and shouting slogans.
BBC reports that mobs in parts of north-east Delhi are throwing stones at each other, and the situation remains tense. There were mobs with stones and sticks in their hands, aggressively chanting Jai Shri Ram or Hail Lord Ram, a cry that has become associated with Hindu lynch mobs.
A policeman and six civilians have died from the protest. This makes the latest violence deadliest since the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – which critics say is anti-Muslim – was passed last year.
Around 150 people, including 48 policemen are reportedly injured.
BBC reporter Faisal Mohammed said “There are around 200 people, some are holding the Indian flag in their hands, others are holding saffron flags, generally associated with right-wing Hindu groups. They are chanting Jai Shri Ram [hail Lord Ram].”
The crowd was also shouting ‘shoot the traitors’.
The timing of the protest and violence is an embarrassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts US President Donald Trump who currently staying in India’s capital. The violence further took the spotlight away from Trump’s first official visit to the country.
Who are dead and injured?
It is confirmed that Thirteen people including one policeman has died so far. Another senior police officer seriously injured as he was shifted to another hospital for specialized treatment.
Two NDTV journalists were severely beaten while they were on the spot for reporting on Tuesday morning. The channel is vocal against the Modi government’s various decisions.
What is the controversy about the law?
The law named as Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from India’s neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. As the law gives citizenship to the follower of other major religion except for Islam, critics fear it undermines India’s secular constitution.
India’s govt. is trying to convince people that only persecuted people, who have no other place than India to go will be granted India’s citizenship. But BJP govt’s this move has drawn criticism from opposition parties and international rights groups. BJP has the majority in both of the houses in the Indian parliament.
It is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide register of citizens that it says will identify illegal immigrants – namely, anyone who doesn’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India.
The law is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide list of citizens, those who don’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India will be identified as illegal immigrants.
A National Register of Citizens (NRC) only published in the north-eastern state of Assam and it created a huge mess their. The list made 1.9 million people effectively stateless. Many people are taken to detention camp.
The NRC and CAA are closely linked, but only the later will protect non-Muslims who are excluded from the register and face the threat of deportation or internment.
Why are people protesting against it?
The law has sparked a huge backlash among students from different university, teachers, intellectuals and general people.
The protestors main argument is this law is against India’s secular constitution. Many Muslims fear that they could be made stateless if they don’t have the necessary documents.
Indian PM and Home Minister said the law ‘no effect on citizens of India, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Buddhists’.
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