01:49 GMT29 September 2020
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    Protests Against New Citizenship Law in India (51)
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Bollywood celebrities have been taking to social media platforms, and speaking out against police who used excessive force against university students protesting against the new citizenship law, that grants illegal non-Muslim immigrants from three neighbouring Islamic countries citizenship.

    Indian-American actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who is also a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, took to her official Twitter handle on Thursday in support of protesting students saying, “We have raised them to have a voice”.

    ​India’s federal government enforced the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act last week, granting Indian nationality to persecuted Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Parsis from neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh – who illegally entered the country before 2015.  The law, however, does not grant citizenship to Muslims from these three neighbouring countries, something which has angered students, Muslims and several opposition political parties, who hold it as a violation of the country’s Constitution.

    Protests against the new act have been going on across the country, and adding to public anger was the use of force by Delhi Police against student protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia, a premier university in the national capital. The police used several dozen teargas shells and cane-charged the protesting students on Sunday 15 December, even those who were reading in the university library. In the clash that ensued, about 100 students and 35 police personnel were injured.

    Shocked at the ongoings, along with Priyanka, several other Bollywood celebrities have raised their voices against the way the extremely sensitive national situation is being dealt with. They include, Sonakshi Sinha, Parineeti Chopra, Rajkummar Rao, Varun Dhawan, Dia Mirza, Sidharth Malhotra, Vicky Kaushal and Ayushmann Khurrana.

    ​As of now, protests do not appear to be abating. Although the unrest started in the northeastern region of India, it spread to other parts like wildfire, with authorities issuing prohibitory orders and suspending internet services to contain the situation. 

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    Protests Against New Citizenship Law in India (51)

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