London: Protesters against citizenship law call for justice for Delhi victims
London, Mar 01: A large group of students, human rights activists and diaspora group representatives gathered outside the Indian High Commission here for an "emergency protest" against the Citizenship (Amendment) Law and the associated violence in Delhi.
The India Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), South Asian Students Against Fascism and South Asia Solidarity Group were among the groups behind the protest.
The London protest was called alongside similar demonstrations in around 17 cities across Europe, including Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Geneva, with the central message of: "We stand in solidarity with the victims of communal violence in Delhi".
"If the world does not take note and react urgently, the consequences will be disastrous," SOAS India Society said in a statement.
The protesters chanted slogans and demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah, for alleged "gross failure" to maintain peace, and the arrest of BJP politicians accused of instigating violence in Delhi.
They also called on the UK government to issue a "strong condemnation" of the Narendra Modi government for the violence on the streets of the Indian capital.
The protestors also sought to highlight the many "heartening instances" of Hindus, Dalits and Sikhs protecting their Muslim neighbours, and Sikh gurdwaras opening their doors for victims fleeing violence in Delhi.
Over the past week, parts of the Indian capital have witnessed sectarian violence in reaction to CAA, an act passed by the Indian Parliament last December to grant citizenship rights to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries.
Critics fear the act, and a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), would discriminate against the country's Muslims.
The government has sought to allay fears by stressing that no Indian Muslim would be impacted by the act and Home Minister Amit Shah has blamed the Opposition for stirring up the violence by spreading misinformation.