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New Delhi Burns Amid Worst Riots in Decades

At least 20 killed as Hindus, Muslims clash
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 26, 2020 4:58 AM CST

(Newser) – At least 20 people in New Delhi, including one police officer, have been killed in three days of clashes between Hindus and Muslims coinciding with President Trump's visit to India. Authorities say nearly 200 people have been injured and the death toll is expected to rise as hospitals continue to take in the wounded, the AP reports. In the worst intercommunal riots in the Indian capital in decades, violence erupted between Hindu mobs and Muslims protesting a new citizenship law that fast-tracks naturalization for foreign-born religious minorities of all major faiths in South Asia except Islam. Relatives of Muslim victims accused police of standing by as the Hindu mobs torched buildings and beat people.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who hosted a lavish reception for Trump, broke his silence on the clashes, tweeting: "I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times." New Delhi's top elected official, Chief Minister Arjind Kerjiwal, called for Modi's home minister, Amit Shah, to send the army to areas affected by the riots. Sonia Gandhi, a leader of the Congress party, India's main opposition group, called for Shah to resign. She accused Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of creating an environment of hatred and its leaders of inciting violence with provocative speeches that sought to paint protesters against the citizenship law as anti-nationalist, Pakistan-funded Muslims.

(Read more India stories.)

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