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India’s Modi Appeals For 'Brotherhood' After Deadly Sectarian Clashes


Congress Party workers shout slogans as they burn an effigy of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) during a demonstration in the northern city of Amritsar to protest against the violence in the capital New Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is calling for calm following days of clashes between Hindus and minority Muslims that claimed the lives of at least 20 people in the capital.

“I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times,” Modi tweeted on February 26.

He said he had held an “extensive review of the situation” and that “police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy."

The deadliest violence the Indian capital has seen in decades erupted on February 23 between demonstrators for and against a controversial new citizenship law.

But the clashes later took on communal overtones, with reports of people being attacked based on their religion.

Photographs, videos, and accounts on social media showed mobs beating unarmed men, groups of men carrying sticks and iron rods wandering the streets, and Hindus and Muslims facing off.

The violence coincided with a visit to India by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Citizenship Amendment Act offers fast-tracked citizenship for non-Muslim illegal immigrants from neighboring Muslim-majority countries -- Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by the BBC, Reuters, and dpa

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