At least seven killed, 150 injured in Delhi citizenship law protests amid Trump visit

Some of the people brought in had gunshot wounds, says a local doctor


Reuters/AFP February 25, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: At least seven people were killed and about 150 were injured in clashes on Monday in the Indian capital during protests over a new citizenship law, a senior hospital official told Reuters.

"Seven persons including one head constable of Delhi police have died," said Anil Mittal, a Delhi police officer, adding that around 150 persons were injured in the violence on Monday.

The clashes erupted between thousands demonstrating for and against the new citizenship law. Police used tear gas and smoke grenades but struggled to disperse the stone-throwing crowds.

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Protests have been taking place across India since the citizenship law came into force in December last year, leaving at least 30 people killed in clashes with police. Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims.

The new law has raised worries abroad - including in Washington - that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to remould secular India into a Hindu nation while marginalising the country's 200 million Muslims, a claim he denies.

The latest unrest erupted between several hundred supporters and opponents of the law in a Muslim-dominated area of northeast Delhi on Sunday and continued Monday.

A constable died after receiving a critical head injury, while another senior officer was among the injured.

Local media said three civilians also died and many people were hurt.

"Please renounce violence. Nobody benefits from this. All problems will be solved by peace," Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that schools in the capital's northeast would be shut on Tuesday and exams postponed.

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Trump arrived in the western state of Gujarat on Monday and addressed about 100,000 people at a rally with Modi before he visited the Taj Mahal monument in Agra.

Later Monday the US president landed in Delhi before official talks in the city on Tuesday.

A senior US official told reporters that Trump would raise concerns about religious freedom in the Hindu-majority nation during the trip, calling them "extremely important to this administration".

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