Middle East

Protests against India’s Citizenship Law continue

Protests condemning India‘s controversial citizenship law, which started about a month ago, continue in various parts of the country.

According to local media, about 5,000 protesters, most of them are women, have been protesting against the law in a park in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, for three days.

One of the protesters said, in statements to reporters, that they intend to continue to demonstrate in the park, until they are contacted by officials.

Student Demonstration:

For its part, a protester said that she continues to protest despite the bad weather conditions, adding, “I was born in India, so how much evidence do I have to provide (to obtain citizenship)?”

On the other hand, a cricket match between the Indian and Australian teams, held in the city of Mumbai (Western), witnessed a group of students demonstrated against the law.

The protesting students chanted slogans denouncing the law, and held banners reading “No to amend the citizenship law.”

Hundreds of demonstrators, most of them women, are continuing their protest against the law for a month, in the Shaheen Bagh area on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi.

Excluding Muslims:

India has been witnessing extensive protests against the law, since it was cleared by the country’s Parliament and got presidential approval on Dec. 12.

It guarantees citizenship to non-Muslims of three neighboring countries Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Critics see the new law as unconstitutional and discriminating against Muslims.

Protests against India's Citizenship Law continue
The Left dominated Kerala state assembly last month passed a resolution asking the central government to withdraw the Act.

Leaders of the main opposition parties in the country have vehemently opposed law, which is to be followed by updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The exercise of the NRC entails every citizen to prove afresh Indian citizenship.

Proving Citizenship:

While non-Muslims would be covered under the new law and would be citizens automatically, the country’s 180 million Muslim population will be made to run helter-skelter to prove citizenship.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who belongs to the main opposition Congress, has described the citizenship law as violation of the secular fabric of the country.

“We will fight against it tooth and nail. BJP-led government at the Centre is attempting to change the values enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution,” said Singh in a statement.

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