NPR

'Our Democracy Is In Danger': Muslims In India Say Police Target Them With Violence

Dozens of Indians, most of them Muslim, have been killed by police in weeks of nationwide protests against a new citizenship law. Their families believe they were singled out because of their faith.
Demonstrators protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act near Jamia Millia Islamia on Dec. 15 in New Delhi. Source: Sanjeev Verma

When Aysha Renna decided last month to demonstrate against India's new citizenship law on her college campus in New Delhi, it never occurred to her that doing so might be dangerous.

Across India, students at other universities were organizing similar rallies against the Citizenship Amendment Act — a key policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government. The law offers amnesty to undocumented migrants from three neighboring Muslim-majority countries — but only if they are non-Muslim. Critics say that by excluding Muslims, the law establishes a religious test for Indian citizenship, in violation of the secularism enshrined in India's constitution.

On Dec. 15, Renna and hundreds of her classmates were marching and waving protest banners on the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia, a historically Muslim university, when they came under attack by police. They had avoided

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