Coronavirus outbreak: Indian police break up citizenship protests as lockdown enforced

Police in New Delhi broke up the longest-running protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s citizenship law on Tuesday, citing a ban on public gatherings because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Dozens of people, many of them women, had been staging a sit-in protest since early December on a street in the Shaheen Bagh neighbourhood, which has become a focal point for opposition to the law seen as discriminating against Muslims.

Ahead of the government’s nationwide lockdown announced on Tuesday by Modi, Delhi had already been under lockdown until the end of the month to halt the spread of the virus and public gatherings of more than five people had been banned.

Elsewhere, police enforced lockdowns across large parts of the country on Tuesday, with curfews in some places.

India has so far reported 482 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and nine deaths.

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