UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — A policeman was killed and dozens were injured on Monday in clashes in New Delhi after thousands of supporters and opponents of the new nationality law turned into riots that lasted for several hours before US President Donald Trump arrived in the Indian capital on his first official visit.
The police used tear gas and smoke bombs to try to disperse the crowds while the two sides supporting and opposing the law exchanged stones and turned a wide street to the battlefield, which was laid with stones 11 miles from the Trump talks place and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
A police official told Reuters, asking not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, that a policeman was killed.
More than 35 people injured in the clashes were being treated, an official at GTT Hospital in New Delhi said.
The Indian TV channel ANI, a partner, told Reuters that a civilian was also killed. However, Reuters cannot verify this.
A Reuters reporter saw a number of burning vehicles and metal barriers that were dropped and thick smoke in the clashes.
The Indian capital is the center of anti-law protests that pave the way for non-Muslim residents of neighboring countries to obtain Indian citizenship.
The law led to accusations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu party (Bharatiya Janata) of undermining the secular traditions of India.
The party denies any bias against the Muslim minority, which has a membership of 180 million, but opponents of the law have been camping in several districts of New Delhi two months ago.
At least 12 people were injured in the violence on Monday, when protesters outnumbered the police force.
The clashes extended about a kilometer on a road and continued from noon until evening.
The protesters were apparently divided on religious grounds, and some of them pulled media workers aside and asked them about their religion.
Monday’s clashes were one of the worst in New Delhi since protests against the nationality law began in early December.
The latest wave of violence came as Trump began his first visit to India since he took office and addressed the crowd in Gujarat, Moody’s homeland.
In Gujarat, Trump told the crowd of over 100,000 people that “India is a country that proudly contains freedom, individual rights, the rule of law and the dignity of every human being.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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