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Stop Using Unnecessary Lethal Force Against Anti-CAA Protesters: Human Rights Watch

Indian police, in many areas, had been cracking down on anti-CAA protests with force, including unnecessary deadly force, the US-based human rights body's South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly said.

PTI

Updated:December 24, 2019, 10:34 PM IST
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Stop Using Unnecessary Lethal Force Against Anti-CAA Protesters: Human Rights Watch
Police personnel baton charge protestors demonstrating against the Citizenship Amendment Act, in Varanasi on Friday. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday urged the police to cease from using unnecessary lethal force against protestors of Citizenship (Amendment) Act in various parts of India.

The US-based human rights body's South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly, in a press release, said: "The Indian authorities should cease using unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators protesting a law that discriminates against Muslims".

Indian police, in many areas, had been cracking down on anti-CAA protests with force, including unnecessary deadly force, she said.

"The authorities should prosecute violent protesters, but they also need to hold police officers to account for using excessive force," she said.

The HRW claimed that since anti-CAA protests began on December 12, at least 25 people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested.

Police has used excessive force only against demonstrators protesting the law, including many students, she said.

All the deaths had occurred in BJP-ruled states-- 18 in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam, and two in Karnataka, she said.

"Most of those killed were Muslims, including an eight-year-old boy in UP. Scores of police officers have been injured," she said.

The authorities had also used a colonial-era law, internet shutdowns, and limits on public transportation to prevent peaceful anti-CAA protests, she said.

"The police have, however, not interfered with demonstrators supporting the law, including ruling party leaders who have advocated violence", she alleged.

Ganguly said the authorities should ensure that security forces comply with the United Nations basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials.

"The government should also revoke CAA, which violates India's international obligations to prevent deprivation of citizenship on the basis of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other human rights treaties", she demanded.

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