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Looting, chaos and a third deceased in India during new protests against the amendment to the Citizenship Law

December 14, 2019
Protestas en Assam contra la enmienda a la ley de ciudadanía

Protests in Assam against the amendment to the citizenship law – REUTERS / ANUWAR HAZARIKA


The driver of a gasoline tanker truck has become the third deceased during the protests that have erupted in recent hours in the Indian state of Assam, as well as in other parts of the country, against a controversial amendment to the citizenship law for grant sanctuary to non-Muslim religious minorities who are fleeing from neighboring countries such as Pakistan.

The death took place in the town of Sonitpur, where a mob set fire to the truck when it was going to refuel. The driver was rushed to a senior care center, where he succumbed to his injuries this morning.

Local authorities cited by 'The Times of India' have warned that the state is in the most absolute chaos. The rail lines are cut and multiple groups have carried out looting and initiated hunger strikes against what they perceive to be a discriminatory law against Muslims.

To this balance it is necessary to add another two dead this Thursday, also in Assam, by shots of the Indian Police during the demonstrations of that day in the state, as a gesture of defiance before the curfew imposed by the authorities after the approval of the law and in advance of possible disturbances.

There is also evidence of protests in the state of Bengal, whose main minister, Mamata Banerjee, has asked the population for calm. “I pray that nobody takes justice by their hand and that nobody causes problems. There is enough confusion,” he lamented.

Groups of protesters have set 15 buses on fire in the state and at least four trains have burned at the Lagola station, where the headquarters of the Indian People's Party, the Bharatiya Janata led by the country's ultranationalist prime minister, Narendra, has also been attacked. Modi

The party authorities, such as its secretary general, Anil Jain, have tried to appease the spirits this Saturday, ensuring that the number of people affected by this new law is “practically negligible”, before recognizing that there is no possibility of extending this amendment to Muslim populations of Bangladesh or Pakistan. “It would mean merging both countries,” Jain said. “Is something impossible”.

Modi has argued that the new measure is aimed at protecting religious minorities from countries such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan or Pakistan, who emigrated to India before 2015. However, those who oppose this law do so because they consider it to be discriminatory. and also for violating the secularism defended by the Constitution.

However, another part of the opposition criticizes that the law will cause a mass exodus of non-Muslim minorities to India. This position has been shown especially in Assam, a region in which movements have traditionally taken place against illegal immigration from neighboring Bangladesh.

The authorities of the region even suspended the Internet connection in some areas to avoid, they have explained, “inflame and exacerbate the situation against law and order.”

The bill was originally introduced in 2016 during the first term of the Modi Government, but expired after protests and the withdrawal of a coalition partner. Now it has been the Minister of the Interior, Amit Shah, who presented last Thursday the Bill on the Amendment of Citizenship (CAB) during a heated debate in Parliament.

The Government defends itself by claiming that in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh, “Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, countries and Christians have been tormented.”

Modi has called for calm and assured the people of Assam that they have nothing to be afraid of. “No one will take away their rights, their unique identity and their precious culture,” he said through his Twitter account.