Published On: Sat, Dec 21st, 2019

Indian PM Modi summons ministers as death toll rises in ongoing protests against India citizenship act – reports

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reportedly consult with his ministers about the security situation in India, following nationwide protests against a new citizenship law that have left up to seventeen people dead.

The turmoil over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be a top agenda item when Modi meets with government officials on Saturday, an unnamed government official told Reuters.

Nationwide protests against the law have become increasingly violent over the past several days. AP cites local authorities’ reports that seventeen people have died in the unrest, while more than 4,000 others have been detained. Protesters set cars on fire and threw stones at security forces. According to reports, police banned public gatherings and cut internet services in parts of New Delhi and other cities in an attempt to stop the demonstrations.

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Three people have been killed in Uttar Pradesh state as protests continue this Saturday, the local chief of police told AP. Schools, colleges and universities across the state will remain closed.

The Indian government says the new citizenship law is aimed at protecting persecuted religious minorities from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Critics call the legislation discriminatory against Muslims. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs reassured on Thursday that CAA does not “target any religious community from abroad”.

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Narendra Modi at an election campaign rally in Kolkata, India on April 3, 2019. © Reuters / Rupak De Chowdhuri
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