Protests over a new citizenship law based on religion have spread to college and university campuses across India as critics said Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government was pushing a partisan agenda in conflict with India’s founding as a secular republic.
Anger with Modi’s Hindu nationalist government was further fuelled by the allegations of police brutality at New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Uttar Pradesh state’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Sunday, when officers entered the campuses and fired tear gas to break up the protests.
Under the law passed by Parliament last week, religious minorities such as Hindus and Christians in neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who have settled in India prior to 2015, will have a path to Indian citizenship on grounds they faced persecution in those countries.
On Sunday, protests were held in Mumbai’s Indian Institute of Technology and Tata Institute of Social Sciences. More such protests are being held on Monday. Students said they stood in solidarity with fellow students in New Delhi and Aligarh.