Monday 27 January 2020

Internet shut down as protests rage in India

A policeman fires a teargas shell towards demonstrators during a protest against a new citizenship law, in Lucknow, India. REUTERS/Stringer
A policeman fires a teargas shell towards demonstrators during a protest against a new citizenship law, in Lucknow, India. REUTERS/Stringer

Devjyot Ghosal

Hundreds of Indians who were arrested for defying a ban on demonstrating against a controversial new citizenship law continued their protest in police detention yesterday.

Public anger over the new law widely considered to be discriminatory is building across the country, with marches and rallies planned despite bans on public gatherings in several areas, raising the possibility of further violence and arrests.

The government ban has been imposed in parts of the capital New Delhi, and throughout the states of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Police detained hundreds of people in Delhi and the southern city of Bengaluru yesterday and shut down the internet in some places as protests entered a second week over a law that critics say undermines India's secular constitution.

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In the eastern state of Bihar, a senior police official said more than 200 protesters detained in a police campus in Patna started chanting slogans against the law.

"We have detained the protesters but they cannot be silenced and we don't want to threaten or use force to stop them," said senior police officer Dhiraj Sinha.

Airline IndiGO cancelled 19 flights from Delhi as road traffic disruption in the capital affected crew availability, an airport official said.

A number of metro stations in Delhi were shut.

Irish Independent

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