New Delhi: Demonstrations and sit-ins were organised Saturday by members of the Indian community in more than 18 cities across Europe to express solidarity with the victims of the clashes in Delhi and to demand immediate action against those responsible.
The protests were attended by close to 1,500 people. The cities where the demonstrations took place are Brussels, Geneva, Helsinki, Krakow, The Hague, Stockholm, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Glasgow and London.
The communal violence which flared up between February 23 and February 26 in northeast Delhi has so far claimed 46 lives with more than 200 injured. The toll may increase as some of the injured are in critical condition. Homes and educational institutions have been vandalised and burnt while property worth crores have been lost. The violence was between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and those against it. It coincided with US President Donald Trump’s visit to India.
So far over 1,000 arrests have been made and the situation is slowly, but surely limping back to normalcy.
The opposition has held Home Minister Amit Shah responsible for the violence and demanded his resignation. Others have blamed other BJP leaders for inciting the people through hate speeches.
The protesters in Berlin marched towards the Indian embassy. They raised slogans against the alleged police atrocities on the victims and inaction by the government. They also placed wreaths as a gesture of condolence to the victims.
Despite heavy rains and harsh weather conditions in Belgium the protesters took out a march while in Glasgow sang they sang ‘Hum Dekhenge’.
The protestors in Krakow wore black to symbolise mourning and resistance. Everyone present was served tea as a symbol of unity that brings Indians from various regions, languages and religious beliefs together.
“The brutality and extent of violence that was witnessed in Delhi recently has shaken us all. It is high time we stand against this hate-filled ideology that has divided India right down the middle,” said an organiser.
The Netherland protests saw slogans in English and Hindi, poetry and speeches, a tribute to Shaheen Bagh and reading of the Preamble the Indian embassy.