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27 Dec, 2019 10:51

More riot police & drones: Indian security forces prepare for new round of possible unrest over citizenship law

More riot police & drones: Indian security forces prepare for new round of possible unrest over citizenship law

Indian police have dispatched extra personnel in anticipation of violence breaking out in Delhi during protests against the new citizenship law. Previous riots over the law have caused more than a dozen deaths across the country.

Additional officers in full riot gear have been deployed in the Seelampur district in northeast Delhi, particularly around the historic Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in the city and one of the largest in India - where massive protests and riots broke out last Friday. Drones have been dispatched to monitor the area from above.

"In view of Friday prayers, we have deployed appropriate forces in the region," Deputy Commissioner for Police Prakash Surya told ANI.

"Around 15 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed. Police personnel are also deployed in sensitive areas."

The officers are monitoring social media and using loudspeakers to urge people to maintain order on the streets.

Four metro stations have been closed, and police have banned public gatherings in certain areas of the city. Meanwhile, flag marches are scheduled to take place in Seelampur and a number of other areas. Rallies against the citizenship law have begun near Jama Masjid and elsewhere in Delhi, but there have been no reports of disturbances so far.

A protest rally was held in the city yesterday, during which over 200 people were detained for violating public assembly laws.

Security has also been beefed up in other major cities, including in the Uttar Pradesh State, where 19 people were killed last week during intense riots.

Also on rt.com Indian police release VIDEO of people brandishing GUNS during protests against citizenship law

The recently adopted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) simplifies the citizenship process for six religious groups that have arrived from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The government insists that the act is aimed at helping persecuted minorities fleeing from Muslim-majority countries. However, the Muslim community views the new law as discriminatory.

Recent protests against the law spiraled into clashes with police, during which the rioters torched cars and threw stones. Police have also released CCTV footage, allegedly showing armed protesters firing at the officers.

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