New Delhi: Delhi police used tear gas and smoke grenades to disperse a crowd of thousands of protesters in the National Capital on Monday as violence broke out over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) just ahead of US president Donald Trump’s maiden visit to the city.
Delhi has been a hotbed of protests against the controversial new citizenship law and protesters have been camping out continuously in several parts for the last two months. Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it on Monday, with stone pelting from both sides.
The two groups have been clashing since Sunday and the people supporting the law were seen chanting "Jai Shree Ram", amid heavy stone pelting from both sides, according to a Reuters witness.
“We are in support of the CAA. If they want to protest, they should go somewhere else,” a protester Amit said, giving only one name. The latest round of violence broke out just as Trump began his maiden visit to India, addressing a mega rally in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Monday.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighbouring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The law is seen by its opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions. Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2020 23:03:46 IST