WASHINGTON: Thousands of Indian-American people took to the streets in protest against India’s new citizenship law in 30 cities across the United States.
According to media reports, hundreds of people gathered outside the White House in Washington to shout slogans against Indan Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the Indian Prime Minister was defying the country’s secular constitution.
Hundreds more protested around the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian Embassy on the occasion of the Day of the Republic of India.
Embassy personnel and security personnel tried to stop the protesters from approaching the main thoroughfare, then leave the peaceful protesters.
Apart from this, hundreds of supporters of the Khalistan movement also participated in the demonstration outside the Indian Embassy, but in a separate section that the local police had made for them.
Outside the White House, protesters have urged US President Donald Trump to urge Narendra Modi to withdraw the controversial citizenship law on a visit to India in February.
He called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to include India on the list where there is a serious breach of religious freedom, joining the list could lead to economic sanctions.
During the 3 to 4-hour march from the White House to the Indian Embassy, protesters continued to shout slogans against the Indian government’s “racist and anti-Muslim policies.”
Protesters told reporters in Washington that such laws were created to alienate India’s 25 million Muslims and convert them to second-class citizens.
The protesters had raised banners against Narendra Modi, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, as well as ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
It should be noted that on December 11 last year, Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which would give Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who came to India from 3 neighbouring countries before December 31, 2014, But Muslims are not included in the list.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had convened a meeting in Mumbai to seek support for the controversial citizenship law in which prominent film personalities were invited, but no actor or actress had attended the meeting.