A group of women wearing hijabs have been praised for standing up to riot police in India, amid protests in Delhi against a new citizenship law based on religion.
In footage widely shared online, the women can be seen shouting at the officers at the gate of a south Delhi home before pushing them back into the street.
A man who attempts to shepherd the women back into the home is then seized by the officers, who drag him to the floor and started beating him with long sticks.
But the women were able to protect the man by forming a circle around him, as officers continued trying to strike at his legs.
The man later stands up after the police have backed away and tells the women: “I’m fine, go inside.”
Thousands of university students flooded the streets of Delhi to protest the citizenship law, which allows non-Muslims who entered India illegally from several neighbouring countries to claim citizenship on the grounds they faced persecution as minorities.
Sunday saw violent clashes between police and demonstrators at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia university.
Police stormed the university camous, firing tear gas at students as they crouched under desks, and protesters – who student organisers said were not connected to the university – set three buses on fire.
The head of Jamia Millia demanded an investigation into how police were allowed to enter the campus. “It is not expected of the police to enter the university and beat up students,” Najma Akhtar told a news conference.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Delhi police headquarters to protest against alleged police brutality and the detention of students. Police said they acted with restraint.
The most violent protests during the past few days took place in the northeastern state of Assam, where mobs torched buildings and train stations, angry the law would help thousands of immigrants from Bangladesh become lawful citizens.
At least five people have been killed so far in unrest across the country.
Additional reporting by agencies
Published at Mon, 16 Dec 2019 04:23:00 +0000