UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — At least five people were killed and nearly 90 wounded in clashes in the Indian capital during protests against a new nationality law, a senior hospital official told Reuters on Tuesday.
“Some people came with gunshots,” said Dr. Rajesh Kalra, medical observer at Guru Tej Bahadur Hospital.
The clashes took place between thousands of demonstrators who support and oppose the new law. The police used tear gas and smoke bombs, but found it very difficult to disperse the crowds that were throwing stones.
A policeman was among those killed in the violence that erupted ahead of the first visit by US President Donald Trump to the Indian capital. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to hold talks on Tuesday at a site a few kilometers from the scene of the clashes.
Tensions remain high in parts of the city on Tuesday, and schools remain closed in some areas, amid news reports of new clashes. At least five metro stations in the city were closed.
Monday’s clashes were one of the worst in New Delhi since protests against the nationality law began in early December. And the Indian capital is the center of protests against the law, which facilitates the access of non-Muslims from three neighboring countries, whose Muslims are predominantly Muslim.
This raised accusations by Modi and his Hindu nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata, of undermining India’s secular traditions. The party denies any bias against the country’s Muslim minority of 180 million people, but anti-law protesters and protesters have been protesting in parts of New Delhi two months ago.
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