Protests erupt in India

Protest and police violence has erupted across India after a law was passed against Muslim migrants.

Proud to be a Muslim, proud to be protesting

Indians are protesting a bill said to be anti-Muslim that makes it more difficult for Muslim migrants to get citizenship. Demonstrators have been met with police violence. In New Delhi, police stormed a university where students were protesting. They fired tear gas, they fired rubber bullets and hit them with wooden sticks. The bill fast-tracks citizenship for migrants who fled Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 2015, but not “not” if they are Muslim. “BJP go back! Go back! Go back! Down with the BJP! Down with the BJP!”, the protestors shouted.

What’s next?

Lawmakers approved it in early December 2019, and government critics see it as a larger move from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party the BJP to turn India into Hindu nationalist state. In two northeastern states, the government has deployed paramilitary troops put the army on standby shut down the Internet imposed curfews. At least 6 people have died in the northeast. Up to 200 were injured in New Delhi.

From the streets

“I am proud to be an Indian, I’m proud to be a Muslim and I’m proud to be a protester. I want to make it clear; nobody is scared. Like people in Hong Kong are protesting, in Chile they are protesting, and they are not scared. We are not scared too. I think all of us are standing for the culture of protest. We want to dissent against the state. They just can’t get acts and bills on the basis of religion. So, we were waiting and suddenly the police came. When the police came, we thought that at least now we are safe, because the crowd ran away. But it came out totally opposite. The police started beating us and abusing us in a very communal way. I believe in a certain faith, so I said "Ya Allah", and they started saying: "You guys are terrorist. You guys are terrorist." And they started beating us. And they started beating us in four or five places,” a local protestor voices her outrage.