Violent protests erupt in India against Citizenship Amendment Act

NEW DELHI, India: The Indian government led by the Hindu Hardliner Prime Minister Narendra Modi has so far suffered a fiasco in its attempt to quell the widespread protests flared against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, granting citizenship right to minorities from neighbouring Countries excluding Muslims.

The protests broke out in India after the Indian Lower House of the Parliament – Lok Sabha – passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) on December 9 followed by another consent to it granted by Rajya Sabha – the Upper House – on December 11.

Even the bill turned into a law a day after (December 12) when the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed it, disregarding the people’s especially Muslims’ outrage against the bill.

While anticipating the protests, the Indian government deployed thousands of troops in violence-hit areas but yet thousands of people organized rallies in various parts of the Country including New Delhi, Assam, Meghalaya, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kerala, Gujarat, and Ludhiana.

Massive protest at Ludhiana against Citizenship Amendment Act

The protesters were holding placards against the Citizenship Amendment Act. In New Delhi and Kolkata, protests even turned violent, resulting in eruption of clashes between the demonstrators and security forces. The protesters in Kolkata blocked a road and set buses on fire whereas in New Delhi, the police had to fire tear gas to disperse the protesters.

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The Main Opposition Congress Party also staged a ‘Bharat Bachao’ (Save India) rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, and lambasted the “anti-people” policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the Citizenship Amendment Act also among them.

“The CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) is an attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India,” the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a twitter on December 11. “I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service.”