US asks Delhi to respect peaceful protests


New Delhi: With protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act spreading across India, the United States on Monday asked New Delhi to respect the right of peaceful assembly and also urged protestors to refrain from violence.
Stating that the US was closely monitoring developments, a State Department spokesperson said in a statement reported by news agency ANI, “We urge authorities to protect and respect the right of peaceful assembly,”. The spokesperson added, “We also urge protesters to refrain from violence.” The statement comes in the aftermath of police violence against students of Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday. The police said they had acted to control a “mob” at the site of a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by students. Incidents of violence and arson were reported at the site.
The students claimed that they had not participated in any violence, and Delhi police on Monday arrested ten people, none of whom were students, for the violence. Last week, the US state department had noted that “religious freedom and equal treatment under the law are fundamental principles of our two democracies”.
“The US urges India to protect the rights of its religious minorities in keeping with India’s Constitution and democratic values,” the spokesperson said after India’s parliament approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).–Agencies