India citizenship law death toll rises to 21 as protests rages on

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New Delhi: On Saturday, thousands of people took part in a new meeting to oppose controversial Indian state laws. In the turmoil this month, 21 people have been killed so far.

The death toll rose after Friday’s most populous demonstration in Uttar Pradesh, killing at least 11 people, including a trampled eight-year-old boy.

Police told AFP that another demonstrator was murdered on Saturday in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, when police used tear gas and batons to protest against the stone crowd.

The law, which is increasingly worrying, was passed by parliament on December 11 to make it easier for people from persecuted minorities from three neighbouring countries to obtain citizenship, but not if they are Muslims.

Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Nazi-Indian nationalist agenda, a claim denied by his party.

Authorities are doing their best to control situation-implementing emergency laws, blocking internet access and closing stores in sensitive areas of the country.

Protesters vowed to continue the fight until the law was lifted.

Protests were held on Saturday in many states, including cities such as Chennai, Gurgaon and Guwahati.

When the day arrived in the capital, New Delhi, protesters raised their phones during demonstrations and held a torch in the largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid.

Police said three demonstrators suffered bullet wounds and six were injured in collisions with anti-protesters in Patna State in eastern Bihar.

In a nationwide protest in Guwahati, Assam, in the northeast, the protests began with a wave of protests for fear that immigrants would play down local culture. Participants said it was time to scream.

Lily Dutta said to AFP: “We are coming to our homeland to fight. We are fighting without weapons and ammunition. We will live in peace.”

Since being re-elected this year, Modi and his Balatia Janata party have stripped the majority of Muslims Kashmir of their autonomy and have registered citizens in Assam.

BJP said it hopes to launch a National Citizenship Register across the country, raising concerns that Muslims (200 million ethnic minorities in India) have lost their voting rights.

Bhupender Yadav, general secretary of the People’s Party, told reporters on Saturday that the party would “start a propaganda campaign” and hold 1,000 meetings to eliminate “lies” in the law.

In northern Uttar Pradesh, Muslims make up nearly 20% of the 200 million people. State Police spokesman Shirish Chandra told AFP that 10 people were killed Friday after being shot.

Local police chief Prabhakar Chaudhary told AFP Friday that the boy had died in a “port-like situation” when 2500 people, including children, participated in the holy city of Varanasi. rally.

The unrest has killed one person in Uttar Pradesh, two in southwest Karnataka and six in Assam.

On Saturday, police set up roadblocks along Jantar Mantar in Delhi, a hotspot of protests in recent years.

It was after the street fighting in Delhi on Friday night when the police fired water cannons and shouted at protesters with bat singing and anti-Modi slogans and stones.

An AFP reporter saw protesters, including children, detained and beaten by police on the spot.

Police told AFP Saturday that 40 people were being detained, including at least eight young people under the age of 18, and added that most of them have been released.

A police spokesperson added that a further 16 people had been arrested on charges of violence.

On Friday evening, the city judge in Delhi ordered the release of all prisoners under the age of 18.

Police added that the leader of a prominent organization in the Dalit community (the lowest in the Hindu caste system) was arrested Saturday when they participated in demonstrations in Delhi.

On Saturday, upset families and lawyers waited outside a police station in Old Delhi, where nearly ten people were being held.

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