16:03 GMT24 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): A key bureaucrat in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh was assaulted during a rally in support of the controversial citizenship law on Sunday (19 January). A video of a protester pulling the hair of the young officer, Priya Verma, went viral after the incident.

    Netizens were divided on social media, with some supporting and others against the official, Priya Verma, who was seen slapping an “unruly” protester and subsequently getting heckled during a rally organised by the federal ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Raigarh district of Madhya Pradesh. BJP is in opposition in the Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly.

    Verma along with police were trying to disperse the rally in support of Citizenship Law, as it was held without the required permission, and defied prohibitory orders in force.

    Hashtag #Terminate_Priya_Verma is trending on twitter as social media users slammed her for what they said and abuse of power, while others called it a publicity stunt and criticised her.

    However, other twitter users came out in support of the female official, hailing her as "brave".

    A FIR (First Information Report) was registered against two people, one of whom was arrested for allegedly hitting government official Priya Verma after a pro-citizenship Amendment Act rally took a violent turn, reported ANI.

    Verma informed news agency PTI that some protesters had misbehaved with her. "Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC are in place in the district. While we were doing our duty, a crowd came from the other side and misbehaved with us," she added.

    There have been widespread protests in India against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which grants Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants, namely Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhist, Sikhs, and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

    The opponents of the law insist that it is discriminatory and presents a volatile view of the country’s Constitution. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and federal Home Minister Amit Shah had clarified that the law was not directed against any Indian citizen. The government and the ruling national Bharatiya Janata Party has organised countrywide campaign in support of the law.


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