Indians are protesting the citizenship amendment act despite a violent crackdown from the police
Supporters and activists of Trinamool Congress (TMC) participated in a mass rally attended by Chief minister of West Bengal state and leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee (unseen), to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Kolkata on December 16. Photo: Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP

Photos of Indians Protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act Despite a Violent Crackdown

Protesters are being beaten up, fired at by tear gas, and even getting shot at directly. They’re getting detained and arrested en masse. But they persist.
Pallavi Pundir
Jakarta, ID

Over the last few days, people across India have come on the streets and started a powerful movement in order to protest the recent passing of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. And even though the government claims the purpose is to protect persecuted minorities, the anger is palpable, and the marches and slogans voice the very fear that there are discriminatory and unconstitutional undertones to CAA, especially towards the Muslim minority.


While in the northeast, the protests centre around longstanding tensions that the act will dilute the demographic and linguistic uniqueness of the people, the rest of India is speaking up against not just further persecution of Muslims, but also as a prelude to a bigger, nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), which has been implemented in Assam and is designed to detect ‘illegal’ immigrants. There are fears that, as it unfolds in Assam, Indian Muslims across India potentially face the threat of detention camps and deportation.

The resistance is fierce, but it’s being met with violent pushback from the state authorities. In the northeastern states of Assam and Tripura, the outrage led to the government shutting down internet access and the deployment of more troops. Clashes have led to at least six people dying and over a hundred injured.

Things are tumultuous in Delhi as well. Here, students of Jamia Millia Islamia university, which is at the forefront of the movement in the city, were met with police brutality that involved lathi charge and tear gas shelling. Heated clashes were seen at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh as well. In response, other campuses across the country are voicing their solidarity with student protesters who were caught in the violence.

In Bengaluru, students from Christ Church were detained and taken to police stations for not having permission to protest in public places. As the revolt unfolds in at least 17 cities—including Mumbai, Bhopal, Jaipur, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Lucknow—we look at some powerful images that show why, despite it all, people are persisting.

citizenship amendment act guwahati

Demonstrators take part in a musical concert to protest against CAA in Guwahati on December 15, 2019. Some 5,000 people took part in a fresh demonstration in Guwahati, with hundreds of police watching on as they sang, chanted and carried banners with the words "long live Assam". Photo: Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP

bangalore india citizenship amendment act

Students and activists hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against CAA in Bengaluru on December 16, 2019. Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP

citizenship amendment act india

Students hold placards and shout slogans to protest against CAA in Chennai. Photo: Arun SANKAR / AFP

citizenship amendment act

Students and activists shout slogans and hold placards during a protest at the University Campus of Mumbai on December 16, 2019. Photo: Punit PARANJPE / AFP

citizenship amendment act india

Protesters clash with police on a road during a demonstration against CAA in Howrah, on the outskirts of Kolkata on December 14, 2019. Photo: STR / AFP


Students of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama (House of Knowledge & Assembly of Scholars University) clash with police during a protest against the Indian government's Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Lucknow on December 16, 2019. Fresh protests rocked India on December 16 as anger grew over new citizenship legislation slammed as anti-Muslim, after six people died in the northeast and up to 200 were injured in New Delhi. Photo: STR / AFP


Civil rights activist, Shamshad Pathan (C) shouts as Gujarat Police officials detain him during a peaceful protest against the Indian government's Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) outside Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad on December 16, 2019. Photo: SAM PANTHAKY / AFP

Follow Pallavi Pundir on Twitter.