Alwaght- A mob of racist Hindu men set a mosque on fire in the Indian capital, New Delhi, during clashes over a citizenship law that is deemed biased against Muslims.
The assailants paraded around the burning mosque in the Ashok Nagar area of the capital on Tuesday.
Video footage shared on social media showed the mob, their foreheads marked by a saffron stripe, climbing to the top of the mosque’s minaret, where they attempted to plant a flag.
At least 13 people have so far been killed in three days of sectarian violence in India’s capital.
"I can now confirm 13 deaths. At least 150 people have come to our hospital with injuries,” Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital official Rajesh Kalra said.
Kalra said a dozen people were in critical condition. “We are still receiving some people with injuries, most of them firearm injuries today.”
Hindus have been clashing with Muslims in the Maujpur neighborhood of the capital and surrounding areas since Sunday.
Police guard a street in an area following clashes between the supporters and opponents of a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, on February 25, 2020. (Photo by AFP)
Violence continued Tuesday with reports of stone pelting and more structures set ablaze.
India has been engulfed by protests since early December last year, when the country’s parliament passed the citizenship act, which is seen as discriminatory toward Muslims. Under the law, migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan will be allowed to claim Indian citizenship — but not if they are Muslims.
But this was the first time that major violence was taking place.
The latest outbreak of violence coincided with the visit of US President Donald Trump, who held bilateral meetings with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi earlier in the day.
Modi’s government is accused of encouraging religious intolerance and seeking to transform India into a Hindu state. Trump has been facing accusations of religious bigotry and racism at home for his travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.
Critics say the new law in India is a grave threat to the country’s secular constitution.