Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, appealed for calm today as violent nationwide student-led protests against "anti-Muslim" citizenship legislation continued for a fifth day.
Students from Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi took to the streets again despite police firing tear gas and baton charging protesters yesterday, accusing the government of introducing the legislation to suppress Muslims.
Approximately 100 people were hospitalised and a group of 50 students was arrested overnight, and have since been released.
The chancellor of the university has said she will press charges against the police after videos circulated on social media of officers brutally attacking peaceful protesters.
In one video circulated on social media, a group of female students stopped a male student from being beaten up by forming a human shield.
Large protests also erupted in other major cities across India, including Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.
Students at Nadwa University in Lucknow reported being locked in by police, and claim stones were thrown at them.
The Citizenship Amendment Act sets out rules that allow followers of six religions – including Christians, Sikhs and Hindus – who come from neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens.
Citizenship is offered on the condition applicants had to leave their country because of being persecuted for their religion, and they must have been living in India for six years.
However, Mr Modi has not extended the offer of citizenship to Muslims. Critics, including the United Nations, say the act marginalises the minority of 193 million.
It is the latest in a string of actions the government, led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has taken against India’s Muslim population.
In August, Mr Modi revoked the autonomous status enjoyed by the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir and announced 1.9 million people in Assam – largely Muslims – would be detained and deported as part of a new National Register of Citizens.
Assam has been the site of the most violent protests, with six dead since Thursday, but the state has now been placed under curfew.
Reminiscent of the ongoing crackdown in Kashmir, over 1,400 people have also been taken into preventive custody and internet services have been blocked.
Protesters in Assam are concerned the bill could lead to unprecedented migration into the state, diluting its heavily inter-tribal culture and exacerbating ethnic tensions.
Opposition leaders have said they will not recognise the law, including Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal.
Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the opposition Congress party, accused Mr Modi of having "only a narrow agenda, to make people fight."
Despite criticism Mr Modi doubled down on the passing of the act telling a rally on Sunday his decision was “1,000 per cent correct”.
“This is the time to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood,” he implored.
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The largest demonstrations took place at Islamic academic institutions, including Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh and Maulana Azad Urdu University in Hyderabad.
Several Indian human rights groups and a Muslim political party have filed petitions to challenge the citizenship law in the Supreme Court.
They argue it violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees the right to equality regardless of religion.
The British Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to the north-east of India while the curfew continues.