Dec 16, 2019

India rocked by deadly citizenship protests

Democratic Youth Federation of India activists in Siliguri burn an effigy of India's Home Minister Amit Shah during a demonstration. Photo: Diptendu Dutta/AFP via Getty Images

More than 100 activists protesting India's citizenship amendment have been wounded in clashes with police near Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, Al Jazeera reports, as deadly demonstrations entered a fifth day Monday.

Details: Per Reuters, police used tear gas and batons on activists to disperse them Sunday. It's one of several protests being held across India against the amendment, which creates a citizenship pathway for Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants who fled from Pakistan and Afghanistan before 2015. Muslims are excluded.

  • Other Indian cities to hold protests Sunday included Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh and Varanasi, broadcaster NDTV reports.
  • In the city of Guwahati, four people died of gunshot wounds, another was killed when a shop he was asleep in was set on fire, and a sixth person was beaten to death at a protest, according to Al Jazeera.

The big picture: Protesters are concerned the amendment is a step in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to turn the country into a Hindu nationalist state to the exclusion of Muslims.

The other side: Modi insists Muslims are excluded from the amendment because they're "not minorities in India's neighboring countries," CNN notes.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

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Modi defends citizenship law that excludes Muslims while protests rage

Narendra Modi at a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 22. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims at a rally for his Hindu nationalist party on Sunday, accusing opponents of the bill of pushing India into a “fear psychosis," AP reports.

Why it matters: The law passed by Parliament earlier this month allows religious minorities from neighboring countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted because of their religion, but it does not apply to Muslims. The move has set off nationwide protests and international outcry, with 23 people killed since the demonstrations began.

Go deeperArrowDec 22, 2019

India shuts down internet as protests over citizenship bill continue

Photo: Biju Boro/AFP via Getty Images

The Indian government has blocked phone and mobile internet service in parts of the country where protests persist over the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims, AP reports.

The big picture: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government suggests temporary blackouts help to maintain law and order, has suspended internet access more than 100 times so far this year, AP notes. The internet has been down in the city of Aligarh for six straight days as of Saturday, and the heavily student-run protests have turned violent as well.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019

The world's Muslims are facing unprecedented repression

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Muslim minorities from China to India and beyond are facing discrimination, mass internment, and even extermination at the hands of their own governments.

Why it matters: The global trend is rooted in the U.S. war on terror, inflated fears of Islamic terrorism, and the rise of authoritarian populism around the world.

Go deeperArrowDec 27, 2019