Violent protests over citizenship law erupt amid Trump visit to India
Violent demonstrations again broke out in New Delhi on Tuesday, just one day after at least seven people were killed and more than 100 were injured in clashes between supporters and critics of a new Indian citizenship law that favors non-Muslims, The Associated Press reported.
A group of Hindu protesters reportedly spread over the Bhajanpur area of the nation’s capital, shouting praises for gods and goddesses while throwing stones at mainly Muslim groups that oppose the law.
Fruit and vegetable shops, in addition to a Muslim shrine, were set on fire, the AP reported. Police fired tear gas to disperse the groups as they continued to clash on Tuesday.
The protests come during President Trump’s trip to India, where he announced that the U.S. and India would sign a defense agreement for the country to purchase more than $3 billion in American helicopters and military equipment.
Thousands of people gathered on the streets to watch Trump’s motorcade travel to an Ahmedabad event on Monday dubbed “Namaste Trump” held at a cricket stadium that can seat more than 100,000 people.
In other areas of New Delhi, protesters on Tuesday continued to throw stones and set shops and vehicles on fire, the AP reported. Homes were also reported attacked with rocks, according to an area police officer who spoke to the news service anonymously. Police and paramilitary groups were sent to calm the clashes that sparked earlier this week.
Police also used tear gas in several areas of New Delhi on Monday as houses, shops, vehicles and a gasoline pump were set on fire. One police officer was killed in the violence after being hit by rocks, police confirmed, the AP reported.
A New Delhi television news channel confirmed that more than 100 people had been injured in the ongoing clashes, and police confirmed the deaths of seven people in the protests on Monday.
Groups of Hindu nationalists and communist organizations also held protests in support of and criticizing the U.S., the AP noted.
The country’s Parliament approved the new citizenship law late last year that provides faster naturalization for groups of foreign-born religious minorities, but excludes Muslims.
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