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Muslim women stage Delhi sit-in as protests over citizenship law spread

MUSLIM women called for “revolution” as they occupied the streets of Delhi today as part of continuing protests against the racist citizenship law of far-right Prime Minister Narenda Modi.

Protest songs and anti-government slogans filled the air as women poured out of their homes and onto the highway in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh district, where they have been holding a month long sit-in.

They chanted: “Inquilab zindabad,” (“Long live the revolution!”) as they navigated their way through police barricades to a rally of speeches and music.

Demonstrations have taken place across India, demanding the scrapping of the highly divisive citizenship law, which was approved by the Indian parliament last month.

The legislation fast-tracks naturalisation for persecuted minorities from a number of neighbouring Islamic countries, but explicitly excludes Muslims.

Critics warn that the law is part of a broader plan by Mr Modi’s Hindu-chauvinist government to set up a national register of citizens, which many fear would lead to Muslims being rounded up and deported.

Earlier this week, India’s Supreme Court refused to put the Citizenship Amendment Act on hold, despite angry protests in which at least 30 people have been killed in clashes with security services.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) warned that the law “undermines the secular democratic foundations of the Indian republic” as outlined in the constitution.

The party condemned oppression and attacks on protesters by pro-government forces, including “police facilitating the entry of armed goons from outside to rampage and brutally attack students and teachers in Jawaharlal Nehru University.”

Party speakers, including general secretary Sitaram Yevhury, have addressed large crowds across the country demanding the law’s repeal.

Despite the winter weather the women have vowed to continue protesting until the law is scrapped.

“Modi’s actions have stirred our blood, we don’t feel cold anymore,” a defiant Asma Khatoon said.


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