Advertisement

India official: Disputed citizenship law won't be changed

By Clyde Hughes
India official: Disputed citizenship law won't be changed
Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in New Delhi, India, Tuesday. Photo by Rajat Gupta/EPA-EFE

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- India's domestic affairs chief said Tuesday the government won't change its new citizenship law, even in the face of growing and increasingly violent protests.

Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah sought to reassure opponents that the law -- which excludes certain groups of Muslim migrants from obtaining Indian citizenship -- will not violate Muslims' rights.

Advertisement

The amended law assured citizenship for non-Muslim migrants fleeing Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but does not provide the same for Muslim refugees.

"Come what may, the Modi government will ensure that these refugees get Indian citizenship and live as Indians with honor," Shah said Tuesday, adding that government officials won't revisit the controversial statute.

"There is no chance of going back on this law," Shah said. "Lakhs and crores of people who came to India to protect their faith will be safeguarded. No injustice will happen to any Muslim citizen of this country."

Protests spread Tuesday to more than a dozen cities, leading to violent clashes with police in some locations. Several protesters were killed by police in Assam State and other demonstrators were beaten back by batons and tear gas.

Advertisement

Delhi state officials closed numerous Metro train stations in the Seelampur area for several hours Monday due to the growing opposition. Delhi Lt. Gov. Anil Baijal called on protesters to remain peaceful.

"Don't get involved in any kind of violence," Baijalsaid tweeted. "Violence is not only illegal but also inhuman."

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement