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Five die in violent citizenship law protests in Delhi as Trump visits

Five people, including a policeman, were killed in clashes among protesters over a new Indian citizenship law in north-east Delhi, police sources said Tuesday.

New Delhi, 25 February 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Five people, including a policeman, were killed in clashes among protesters over a new Indian citizenship law in north-east Delhi, police sources said Tuesday.

Vehicles and shops were set on fire, property destroyed, and more than two dozen people injured on Monday as protesters supporting and opposing the law hurled bricks.

The area remained tense on Tuesday, the police sources added.

The violence and clashes took place as US President Donald Trump arrived in the Indian capital on Monday for talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled for Tuesday.

The clashes happened in pockets of north-east Delhi that have a large Muslim population.

The new law fast tracks citizenship for religious minorities from neighbouring Muslim-majority countries, but excludes Muslims from the list of communities.

Critics said the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 goes against India’s secular constitution, which treats everyone as equal irrespective of their religion and is a step towards marginalizing the country’s Muslim minority.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, government has said the law would not affect Indian citizens, Hindu or Muslim.

But the protests, largely peaceful so far, continue in cities across the country, with Muslim women often in the lead.

A local BJP leader had threatened a group of women carrying out a sit-down protest near a Metro station in north-east Delhi that they would be forced to leave once Trump left India, NDTV news channel reported.

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