Protests against Citizenship Bill Spread across India (+Videos)
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Protests over a controversial new law on migrants are raging across several Indian cities, prompting clashes between police and demonstrators.
The new law allows New Delhi to grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighboring countries on or before December 31, 2014 -- but not if they are Muslim.
Police used tear gas and detained protesters in the capital Delhi as buses were torched and roads blocked.
Protests have raged across northern and eastern India since the law was passed last week.
Train stations across the Indian state of West Bengal have also been vandalized and set ablaze by anti-CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) protesters angered by the new legislation, RT reported.
Videos shared on social media purportedly show the largest attack, carried out by 15,000 protesters, who targeted a transit hub in West Bengal's Malda district, according to the Times of India.
The mob allegedly set fire to the train station's ticket counter and committed other acts of vandalism before making a bonfire on the tracks.
Police were deployed to contain the violent crowds as the regional government scrambled to restore order. Internet access was suspended in six of the state's districts.
Violence erupted in Delhi on Sunday, with anti-CAB protesters torching buses and clashing with police in the streets of the Indian capital.
Under CAB, persecuted religious minorities coming from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan can obtain Indian citizenship. Critics say the bill is discriminatory because the new law excludes Muslim refugees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has insisted that the new law does not infringe upon the rights of Muslims living in India in any way.