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Two people died and thousands more violently protested Thursday after India’s legislature passed a controversial citizenship bill a day earlier, Reuters reported.
The protests were in opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to fast-track citizenship for Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled the neighboring majority Muslim countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh before 2015. The largest religious group excluded from the country’s new E-Z Pass citizenship lane: Muslims.
Prominent Muslims both inside and outside India decried the measure as discriminatory along religious lines.
But protesters in India’s northeastern Assam state weren’t mad about the exclusion of Muslims when they set an official’s house on fire, vandalized railroad stations and burned down a post office, according to Reuters. The protesters are upset because they think the bill will lead to a flood of immigrants in the region. Police answered back with tear gas and gunfire while the government shut down the internet in the state.
Separate protests broke out in Delhi on Friday, Reuters reported. Police fired tear gas at Jamia Millia Islamia university students who protested and said the new law ran counter to India’s secular tradition.
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