The last few days have witnessed social media abuzz with videos and images against the new Citizenship Amendment Act. But there were also a few heart-warming moments in the midst of the violence.
A recent video that went viral on social media shows one instance where a group of Hindus and Sikhs can be seen forming a human chain to shield Muslims who were offering namaz.
The incident happened during protests outside Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Protests have erupted in multiple cities across the country after the disputable Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) became a law after receiving the President’s approval on Thursday. The Bill seeks to amend The Citizenship Act, 1955 to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for the citizenship of India. Muslims are the only community to not be included.
Three protesters were shot dead on Thursday, taking the death toll to nine in the surge of anger that is rising as a major challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The law making it easier for persecuted minorities from three neighbouring countries to get citizenship but not if they are Muslims, has stoked fears that Modi wants to remake India as a Hindu nation, which he denies.
Tens of thousands on Thursday hit the streets nationwide, with violence erupting in several places including Lucknow in the north, Mangalore in the south, and Modi’s home state of Gujarat.
In Mangalore, security forces opened fire on a crowd of around 200 people after they ignored orders to disperse, killing two people, police spokesman Qadir Shah told media sources. Four others were in hospital with gunshot wounds.
“They marched towards the busiest area of Mangalaru. This led to lathi (big, wooden sticks) charge. Then the tear gas was fired. When the protestors still didn’t stop, the police had to open fire,” he said, using another name for the city.
Another protester succumbed to gunshot injuries in Lucknow, the capital of India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, said a doctor who wished to remain anonymous, with vehicles and a police post set on fire in one district.
Police denied opening fire in the city, which is home to a large Muslim minority, but his father told the Times of India his son was shot after getting caught in a crowd of protesters while grocery shopping.
Fresh clashes erupted in Lucknow on Friday when police halted a few hundred people on their way to a planned protest, with security forces firing tear gas and charging with batons, a reporter on the scene claimed.