Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – Kamal Singh / PTI / dpa
NEW DELHI, Dec. 22 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has tried to appease this Saturday the protests against the amendment to the citizenship law that grants sanctuary to religious minorities persecuted in neighboring countries by ensuring that these regulations are not, as their critics argue, an act of discrimination against Muslims.
“This law has no effect on 1.3 billion Indians and I want to guarantee the Muslims of the country that nothing has changed for them,” said the prime minister during a rally in New Delhi in the more than 200 conferences that his party Nationalist, the Bharatiya Janata, has summoned in the coming days to counteract the effects of the protests.
Critics of the law say that it makes religion a social condition, which contradicts the terms of the country's secular constitution, another accusation that Modi has flatly rejected.
“No one has asked here where they are going to pray or who should receive charity by virtue of it,” he replied as the capital, New Delhi, and the state of Uttar Pradesh, the most affected by the protests, prepare to host New marches this Sunday.
The ultranationalist prime minister also categorically rejected that some Muslims in the country are being transferred to detention centers taking advantage of the demonstrations. “That is a lie they are spreading from the opposition. At least they demonstrate their education and read the law, even if only once,” he said during the rally, collected by the Indian channel NDTV.
At least 21 people have died in India during the demonstrations that began almost two weeks ago. Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest number of fatalities, 15, followed by Assam and Karnataka, according to Police Inspector General Praveen Kumar, who has highlighted incidents of violence this Friday, including fires, stoning and property damage.
There are also records of 263 police officers injured, of which 57 were hospitalized for gunshot wounds. There are also 705 detainees and 4,500 interrogated.
One of the last dead is an eight-year-old boy who was crushed by the crowd when the police intervened to disperse her.
The demonstrations continue today in Patna, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, as reported by the NDTV news channel.
The Law on the Amendment of Citizenship states that migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan from religious minorities such as the Sikhs, Christians and Hindus who arrived in India before 2015 because they were persecuted in their countries of origin are entitled to Indian citizenship . For its critics, it is an attack on the country's secular constitution.