• Thursday, Jul 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

More India protests as Hindu hardliners flex muscles

  • Published at 11:34 pm December 26th, 2019
Int'l--More-India-protests-as-Hindu-hardliners-flex-muscles
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against India's new citizenship law in Mumbai on December 26, 2019 AFP

Around 2,500 people rallied against the government in Mumbai on Thursday

Indians took to the streets again on Thursday in yet more protests against a citizenship law, a day after pro-government Hindu hardliners staged a show of force complete with horses, drums and batons.

Two weeks of at times violent demonstrations have killed at least 27 people as anti-government protesters have vented their anger nationwide in the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he stormed to power in 2014.

Modi denies accusations that the law, which eases naturalization procedures for non-Muslim minorities from three nations, is part of a master plan to reshape India as a purely Hindu nation.

But coupled with plans for a national register of citizens, it has stoked fears at home and abroad, including in Washington and at the UN rights office, about the marginalization of India's 200 million Muslims.

On Wednesday several thousand baton-wielding volunteers from a Hindu hardline group - of which Modi is a lifelong member - held a rally in the southern city of Hyderabad, in a show of support for the government.

Members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militaristic group that has long espoused "Hindutva" or Hindu hegemony, marched through the streets beating drums and blowing horns.

The parade, organized before the protests began, saw volunteers ride horses, sing songs, and perform group exercises using “lathis” - bamboo batons deployed by Indian riot police.

The protests against the citizenship law meanwhile show no signs of going away, although in recent days numbers have been smaller.

Around 2,500 people rallied against the government in the financial capital Mumbai on Thursday, police told AFP, with demonstrators waving flags and carrying banners calling for a boycott of the citizenship law.

Protesters also took to the streets in the eastern city of Kolkata while hundreds of Muslim women demonstrated in the southern state of Karnataka where two people were shot dead by police in protests last week.

While many of the protests have been peaceful, demonstrations have sometimes turned violent with police also accused of a disproportionate response.

In India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh - where 19 people have been killed - the authorities have arrested thousands and sought damages from more than 100 people accused of rioting and destroying public property.

Around 130 people have been ordered to pay nearly 5 million rupees $70,000 within a week, with officials warning that their properties will be confiscated and auctioned to recover the amount if necessary.

Authorities were bracing for further protests on Friday in Uttar Pradesh, home to a large Islamic minority, and in parts of New Delhi following Muslim prayers.

Mobile internet, which was cut across large parts of Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere last week, has been restored, although the cities of Agra - home to the Taj Mahal - and Bulandshahr remain offline.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail