India’s Modi appeals for calm after deadly clashes

Indian Muslim man Abdul Hafiz reacts as he looks at the brunt Tyre market near Gokulpuri metro station after clashes in New Delhi, India, 26 February 2020. At least 24 people have been killed in the fighting that broke out between supporters and opponents of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The law, which was passed on 10 December 2019, grants a pathway to Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsi or Christian communities fleeing from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, but excludes those adhering to the Muslim faith. EPA-EFE/HARISH TYAGI

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm after days of clashes between Hindus and minority Muslims over a controversial citizenship law in some of the worst sectarian violence in the capital in decades.

Twenty people were killed and nearly 200 wounded in the violence, a doctor said, with many suffering gunshot wounds amid looting and arson attacks that coincided with a visit to In

Modi’s appeal came after a storm of criticism from opposition parties of the government’s failure to control the violence, despite the use of tear gas, pellets and smoke grenades.dia by U.S. President Donald Trump.

At least 24 dead in clashes between supporters and opponents of the CAA in New Delhi
Indian policeman walks near a burnt car at a burnt tyre market after clashes in New Delhi, India, 26 February 2020. At least 24 people have been killed in the fighting that broke out between supporters and opponents of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The law, which was passed on 10 December 2019, grants a pathway to Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsi or Christian communities fleeing from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, but excludes those adhering to the Muslim faith. EPA-EFE/HARISH TYAGI

Police and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets in far greater numbers on Wednesday. Parts of the riot-hit areas were deserted.

The violence erupted between thousands demonstrating for and against the new citizenship law introduced by Modi’s Hindu nationalist government.

The Citizenship Amendment Act makes it easier for non-Muslims from some neighbouring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.

Critics say the law is biased against Muslims and undermines India’s secular constitution. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has denied it has any bias against India’s more than 180 million Muslims.

Read more via France 24

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