Death toll rises to 20 from riots in Indian capital

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 26, 2020 - Duration: 01:22s

Death toll rises to 20 from riots in Indian capital

At least 20 people have been killed in the Indian capital during violent clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups over a new citizenship law, a hospital official told Reuters, even as an eerie calm descended in riot-torn areas on Wednesday.

Soraya Ali reports.

Death toll rises to 20 from riots in Indian capital

The death toll from the riots in the Indian capital on Wednesday (February 26) has now risen to at least 20, according to authorities.

Riots sparked by its controversial new citizenship law -- the worst of many violent protests since the law was first proposed -- and riots that overshadowed U.S. President Donald Trump's visit.

New Delhi police used tear gas and smoke grenades to disperse stone-throwing crowds.

Hospital officials told Reuters they had treated over 200 people since the fighting first intensified on Monday (February 24), many suffering severe injuries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the matter on Wednesday (February 26), appealing for peace between Hindus and Muslims. The law announced by Modi's nationalist government makes it easier for non-Muslims from neighboring countries to gain Indian citizenship.

It has reignited long-standing tensions between the country's Hindu and minority Muslim groups.

The violence coincided with U.S. President Donald Trump's first official visit to India where Modi pulled out all the stops in the hopes of securing a trade deal.

Trump left India Tuesday (February 25) with a sale of $3 billion worth of military equipment and promised to conclude trade talks promptly.

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