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Riots after speech by BJP politicians : 23 dead in massive riots in India's capital New Delhi
At least 23 people have died in the worst rioting in decades in the Indian capital New Delhi. The background to the violence is massive tensions between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority. India has not been able to calm down since Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed through a naturalization law that critics believe specifically discriminates against Muslims. Modi's populist party BJP has the interests of the Hindus in mind. This makes up 80 percent of the population.
In particular, the northeast of the capital New Delhi is affected by outbreaks of violence this time. A particularly large number of Muslims live there. Since the beginning of the week, different groups have been attacking each other with stones and sticks. They set mosques, shops, houses and cars on fire, as TV images show. Around 200 people were injured, a large local hospital said on Wednesday.
The immediate trigger for the outbreak of violence in New Delhi was a speech by a politician from Prime Minister Modi's Hindu nationalist party. In it he called on the police to remove peaceful Muslim demonstrators who were blocking the entrance of a metro station without permission - otherwise the people would do that. Opposition politicians have criticized the fact that such speeches are increasingly fueling hatred of Muslims in the predominantly Hindu country.
The interior minister called Muslims termites
In general, many Muslims feel increasingly uncomfortable in India. They are the largest minority and make up around 14 percent of the population. Interior Minister Amit Shah, for example, has already called Muslims “termites”.
And now tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating against the naturalization law for weeks. This makes it easier for many illegally entered migrants from three neighboring countries, most of which are Muslim, to naturalize - provided they are not Muslims. Some protests resulted in violence and deaths.
People attacked each other particularly brutally on Tuesday during the state visit by US President Donald Trump. To bring the situation under control, the capital's head of government, Arvind Kejriwal, called on Prime Minister Modi to send the military to help.
Modi, on the other hand, tried to appease. He called on the citizens of the capital on Twitter on Wednesday to be peaceful. For their part, his party's politicians accused the opposition of inciting violence. You would have wanted to tarnish the image of India during Trump's visit, according to the Interior Ministry.
But Trump was not impressed by the violence. He said Modi had assured him that there was freedom of religion in his country. A few kilometers away from the riots, he raved about the “phenomenal future” of India in a luxury hotel on Tuesday. His wife Melania Trump attended a school lesson on the subject of happiness - one of which is on the program every day in public schools in the capital. But in northeast New Delhi, where the protests took place, the happy hours were canceled on Wednesday. Schools there remained closed because of the violence. (dpa)
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