The number of people killed in clashes between rivals and supporters of the new citizenship law in New Delhi has risen to 42, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital medical officers said.
Clashes between supporters and opponents of the new citizenship law began in several New Delhi districts on Monday. After clashes in Majipur, Jafrabad, Chand Bagh and Karal Nagar districts, authorities in the Indian capital imposed curfews there, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kedzhriwal called on the government to introduce an army into those districts.
According to medical reports, about 300 people were injured in the clashes.
According to amendments to the Nationality Act of India, non-Muslim refugees from neighboring countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh – will be able to obtain Indian citizenship under a simplified procedure if they face harassment at home. The law has provoked resentment among Indian Muslims who believe the amendments violate the constitution by oppressing some citizens in a formally secular country on religious grounds. Also outraged were residents of the northeastern states, who feared that millions of Bangladeshis could now legally settle in their regions. According to the organizers of the protests, this threatens the interests of the local population.
The opposition believes that the law is discriminatory because it deprives Muslims of the possibility of obtaining citizenship, although in officially secular India with a population of 1.3 billion people, followers of Islam constitute more than 10% of the population. According to critics, under these conditions, religious affiliation should not be a condition for acquiring citizenship.