Nepal | July 15, 2020

India security clampdown keeps citizenship law protests under control

Share Now:

MEERUT/LUCKNOW: India deployed thousands of police and shut down mobile internet services across many cities on Friday to control protests against a new citizenship law, with flashpoint Friday prayers passing largely peacefully.

Security was particularly tight in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where 19 people have been killed since the protests began on Dec. 12, out of at least 25 deaths nationwide.

Authorities had feared that large crowds could gather after the weekly Muslim congregational prayers. Demonstrations were held after Friday prayers in the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai, but there were no major reports of violence as of 1200 GMT.

In Meerut, where five people were killed after violence last Friday, there were no gatherings.

Nearly 3,000 police were deployed, four times more than last week, the city’s police chief told Reuters.

The legislation makes it easier for minorities from India‘s Muslim majority neighbours – Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – who settled before 2015 to get citizenship but does not make the same concessions for Muslims. Critics say the law – and plans for a national citizenship register – discriminate against Muslims and are an attack on the country’s secular constitution by the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The government has said no citizen will be affected and that there are no imminent plans for a register.

On Friday, mobile internet services were ordered shut in many parts of Utter Pradesh, including in the provincial capital Luck now, the state government said.

In the national capital New Delhi, police imposed an emergency law in some parts of the city, forbidding large gatherings, news channels reported. Such prohibitions have been in place in Uttar Pradesh for more than a week.

Thousands of demonstrators, waving Indian flags and holding placards rejecting the new law, protested peacefully in Bengaluru city amid a heavy police presence.

“I am here because the NRC is wrong,” said Iqbal Ahmed, 42, a Muslim carpet seller and one of the protesters, referring to the register of citizens.

“This is our land and I am from here… Are we not Indian?”

Muslims, India‘s second biggest community by religion, account for about 14% of its 1.3 billion people.

Some parts of the country also saw rallies in favour of the new citizenship law but were outnumbered by demonstrations and protests against the legislation.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

India, election, Narendra Modi

Indian leader's virus fund won't disclose donors, payments

NEW DELHI: Bejon Misra responded quickly to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal in March for donations to a new fund to strengthen the country's fight against the coronavirus. The next day, the 69-year-old retired management professor made a donation. “It was a generous contributi Read More...

Coronavirus-related syndrome surfaces in older adults; stillbirths cause worry

The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. COVID-19 inflammatory syndrome now seen in adults A rare and life-threatening condition seen in some chi Read More...

Makawanpur's Communist Movement leader Thapa dies at 76

HETAUDA: Bal Kumari Thapa, leader of Makawanpur's Communist Movement, died on Monday night. She was 76. Thapa, who was also regarded as the guardian of Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Makawanpur, died at Hetauda Hospital. According to NCP (NCP) Makawanpur chairperson Munu Sigdel, the veteran Read More...

116 new coronavirus cases detected; Nepal’s COVID-19 tally crosses 17,000 mark

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population reported 116 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Tuesday, which has taken the nationwide COVID-19 count to 17,061. Of the newly infected, nine persons are from Province 1; 44 from Province 2; seven from Bagmati Province; four from Gandaki Pro Read More...

Solar sets distributed to 152 households without electricity in Bhojpur

BHOJPUR: As many as 152 families with no access to electricity have received solar sets in Pauwadung Rural Municipality of Bhojpur district. Rural Municipality's chairperson Kiran Rai said that, so far, they have distributed 20-watt capacity solar sets to the households who are deprived of electr Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 116 new cases, 34 recoveries, no deaths recorded

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 293,739 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, Read More...

India's tech hub, other towns back in lockdown as coronavirus infections surge

BENGALURU/MUMBAI: India's high-tech hub of Bengaluru will go back into a coronavirus lockdown for a week on Tuesday after a surge of infections, threatening to derail government efforts to revive a stuttering economy. Places of worship, public transport, government offices and most shops will shu Read More...

Real Madrid dig deep to beat Granada and move closer to title

GRANADA: Real Madrid endured their toughest test at Granada on Monday since La Liga restarted but showed real determination to grind out a 2-1 win and record their ninth consecutive victory as they moved within touching distance of reclaiming the title. Early goals from Ferland Mendy and Kari Read More...