NEW DELHI: India police and security forces are using excessive force which residents have described a military-style crackdown in predominantly Muslims areas and universities after country-wide protests sparked against the controversial citizenship amendment bill, said the latest report published by the US daily.
A report published by the US daily Los Angeles Times on Friday exposed the horrifying facts and brutalities of Indian authorities continued in Muslim majority areas. It revealed that police and security forces fired stun grenades and bullets at Muslim University in northern India and used religious slurs against Muslim students.
The crackdown has been harshest in the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, where at least 17 people have been killed and more than 5,000 detained in the last two weeks, the newspaper quoted a fact-finding report released this week.
With parts of the state under phone and internet blackouts, accounts of abuses have been difficult to confirm. But in news reports, residents have described a military-style crackdown on Muslim areas, with police opening fire on civilians, beating children, barging into homes and vandalizing property, it said.
The locals have likened the deteriorated situation in Uttar Pradesh to the 2002’s anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat that saw at least 1,000 people killed, the majority of them Muslim when Modi was the leader then but he has never been charged with any wrongdoing.
As demonstrations continued this week, Modi’s government enforced harsh laws against public gatherings and blocked internet access in some areas, making it more difficult for protesters to organize — and to report official abuses.
The spark for the protests was the Indian Parliament’s passage on December 11 of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which provides a path to Indian citizenship for refugees from three neighbouring countries, unless they’re Muslim. A citizens’ register this year in the northeastern state of Assam excluded 2 million people, many of them Muslim.