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India: Eight people killed in riots after 'hateful speeches' by political leaders

Protests have continued against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

Political leaders in India who are creating a violent environment by making hateful speeches must be immediately held accountable, Amnesty International India said today.

In riots last night in north-eastern New Delhi, eight people were killed and more than 100 injured after protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said:

“These riots - along with the earlier instances of violence that took place in Jamia Milia University and Jawaharlal Nehru University - were preceded by the hateful speeches made by political leaders.

“There has been a deafening silence from the Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] on the hate speeches made by the political leaders since December 2019. The Prime Minister must lead the way and unequivocally condemn them.

“It is the ongoing impunity that the political leaders enjoy which encourages them and other non-state actors to stoke more violence.

“A prompt, independent and impartial investigation into such speeches leading to ongoing and past violence is also needed. This prolonged impunity must end now.”

Protests against Citizenship Amendment Act

On 22 February, several peaceful protesters occupied a portion of the road near the Jaffrabad Metro station in north-eastern part of New Delhi.

On 23 February, BJP leader Kapil Mishra made provocative speeches and gave Delhi police a three-day ultimatum to remove the protesters in Jaffrabad. Riots escalated further last night, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

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