Following the passing of a bill by the Indian government, which didn’t seem to cater for the Muslim minority, a series of serious protests has been taking place all over the country in reaction to the controversial citizenship law.
Muslims are a minority in India and have long complained about the in-equal treatment they receive from the Indian government, and this newly passed bill is to them a confirmation of what they have long been saying. According to critics, the bill could further marginalize the country’s Muslim community.
Protests in Kolkota and 8 over key Indian cities have led to the loss of lives and destruction of property, other cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and the capital New Delhi.
At least five protesters have been confirmed killed in Assam, India’s northeast province this according to the police when demonstrations turned violent.
In Delhi, students began demonstrating at the prestigious Jamia Milia Islamia university early Sunday, with around 2,000 people taking part in the protest’s peak. Hundreds of people were injured in the protests, and dozens arrested, as well as significant damage to the campus, said Najma Akhtar, the university’s vice-chancellor.
University students involved in the protest told police that they were beaten with batons and sticks, leaving 200 injured according to the university administration.
However, a report by Delhi’s Police seems to suggest otherwise, the police say they were unarmed and used minimum force to bring the crowd under control
Anger has been growing nationally over the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which was signed into law last week. The bill promises to fast-track citizenship for religious minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who arrived before 2015.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in explaining the Muslim snub said: “because Muslims were not minorities in India’s neighboring countries.”
Concern has been raised about the bill’s constitutionality and the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in India.