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Citizenship Law Protests: Two Killed in India’s Eastern West Bengal, over a Dozen Injured in Bihar

© REUTERS / FRANCIS MASCARENHASDemonstrators attend a protest against a new citizenship law in Mumbai, India, January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
Demonstrators attend a protest against a new citizenship law in Mumbai, India, January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): Over the last few weeks, India has witnessed protests against a newly enacted citizenship law, leaving 25 people killed and hundreds injured. The law seeks to grant citizenship rights to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, not including Muslims.

On Wednesday, a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) and a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) in India’s eastern West Bengal turned violent, killing two people and injuring another. The clash took between two groups place in Murshidabad which borders Bangladesh.

 According to the police, the violent groups hurled crude bombs and fired several rounds during the clashes.  

“Two persons identified as Anirudh Biswas and Maqbool Sheikh have lost their lives while another man has received severe injuries. Several cars and two-wheelers were damaged and set on fire. Heavy police have been deployed in the area and situation has brought under control,” said a senior police officer.  

​In another incident of violence in neighbouring northern Bihar, 15 people were injured in clashes between two groups – one opposing and the other supporting the law in Sitamarhi district.

According to local police, the situation was brought under control while additional security has been deployed in the area to prevent any further escalation of violence.

Earlier this week, West Bengal state passed a resolution against the law, which the government headed by Mamta Banerjee of the All India Trinamool Congress has held as discriminatory to Muslims and violates the provisions of the Indian constitution.

The CAA which was enacted by the federal government on 13 December. It seeks to provide citizenship to illegal immigrants from Hindu, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Buddhist backgrounds from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.  

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that no Indian citizen would be affected by the law as it “seeks to grant citizenship, not snatch it”. Modi has also clarified that his cabinet has not considered a nationwide census to identify illegal immigrants. 

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