New Delhi: Demonstrations and sit-ins were organised by members of the Indian community in more than 18 cities across Europe on Saturday to express solidarity with the victims of the clashes in Delhi and to demand immediate action against those responsible.
The protests, attended by around 1,500 people, were held in cities including Brussels, Geneva, Helsinki, Krakow, The Hague, Stockholm, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Glasgow and London.
Around 46 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in the Delhi violence, that flared-up between February 23 to February 26. Hundreds of homes and shops were burnt and vandalised.
The violence had started small as clashes between supporters and opponents of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. It coincided with US President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to India, but rapidly spun out of control, necessitating an urgent, midnight intervention from the Delhi High Court, which sought immediate police action.
The opposition has held Home Minister Amit Shah responsible for the violence and demanded his resignation. Some of the top politicians of ruling BJP have also been accused of delivering hate-speeches that allegedly led to violence.
In Berlin, the protesters marched towards the Indian embassy, raising slogans against the alleged police atrocities on the victims and inaction by the government.
The protesters also placed flowers in front of the Indian Embassy as a gesture of condolence to the victims.
In Belgium, the Indian diaspora carried out protests despite harsh weather conditions, while the protestors in Glasgow sang Hum Dekhenge song.
The protestors in Krakow wore black to symbolize mourning and resistance, while Tea was distributed to everyone present to mark symbols of unity that bring 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.
In Paris, French citizens joined Indians to observe a minute of silence. They also laid white roses, a symbol of anti-fascist resistance in Europe, near the consular office in Paris.