Gatherings banned in parts of India capital after citizenship law demos

Gatherings banned in parts of India capital after citizenship law demos
Gatherings banned in parts of India capital after citizenship law demos

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a leader of India's main opposition Congress party, along with her party's supporters attend a protest against a new citizenship law, in front of India Gate war memorial in New Delhi December 16, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW DELHI, Dec 18 — Authorities have imposed an emergency law banning large gatherings in parts of India’s capital New Delhi after 12 policemen were injured in protests against a contentious new citizenship law.

Clashes across India following the passage of legislation that fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslims from three neighbouring countries have claimed six lives.

A day after intense protests rocked Delhi, police banned gatherings of more than four people in some Muslim-dominated areas in the megacity’s northeast.

“In view of the protests on Tuesday prohibitory orders have been issued,” a police official told AFP.

Police fired tear gas after thousands of protesters threw stones and set fire to at least two buses and a police outpost in Delhi’s Seelampur district.

At least 21 people, including 12 policemen, were injured in the clashes.

Six people were arrested for rioting and arson, police police said today.

Another six people were arrested in eastern West Bengal state for hurling a bomb at policemen in Howrah city yesterday that injured seven officers.

Howrah police commissioner Gaurav Sharma told AFP his officers were attacked when they went to arrest protesters who vandalised a railway station.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has remained defiant in the face of the protests and said the law would not affect Indian nationals but protect persecuted Hindu, Sikh and other minorities from Muslim-majority neighbours.

Opponents say the law is a part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda to sideline the country’s 200 million Muslims.

More protests were planned later today across several states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

Authorities have imposed internet blackouts and used force to shut down rallies and sit-ins, but protesters have vowed to keep up their fight until the law is revoked. — AFP

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