Streets of Mumbai, the biggest financial hub of India, witnessed a massive protest by members of the Muslim community on Wednesday, as thousands of people took to the streets to voice their protest against the contentious Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
"Both my government and I are firm like a rock that we will not budge or go back on the citizenship protests", said Home Minister Amit Shah.
Some question the eligibility of only of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis facing religious persecution in three Muslim-majority countries and say persecuted Muslim groups like the Ahmadiyyas of Pakistan, Rohingyas in Myanmar as well as Tamils of Sri Lanka should be included. The BJP did, however, express an interest in applying NRC nationwide, which activists are saying could result in major civil rights violations against Indian Muslims.
In what will be perceived as a temporary breather to the Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it would not be granting a stay on implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The first to challenge the controversial law was the Indian Union of Muslim League, a political party active in the southernmost state of Kerala.
The protests, which raged for another day on Tuesday, follow the passing by parliament last week of legislation making it easier for people from three neighbouring countries to get Indian citizenship.
Critics note that about 1.4 million of the 2 million who could not prove citizenship are either Hindu or of some other non-Muslim religious minority - and so will be protected by the new citizenship act. India is building a detention centre for some of the tens of thousands of people the courts are expected to ultimately determine have entered illegally.
Modi champions a hardline brand of Hindu nationalism known as Hindutva, which aims to define Indian culture in terms of Hindu history and values and which promotes an exclusionary attitude toward Muslims.
Police in India arrested at least 10 people in connection with Sunday's violence that left over 100 of students injured after police stormed New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), located 130km from the capital, to disperse the protests, reports Al Jazeera.
In August, New Delhi revoked the partial autonomy of Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state.
Peaceful protests outside another university, Jamia Millia Islamia, continued Wednesday after Sunday's rallies turned violent. Police retaliated with tear gas and batons.
Video shows officers running after fleeing protesters and hitting then with wooden sticks.
Protesters clash with police during a rally.
In Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been known to jump into scandals and seek publicity to benefit herself, led a rally on December 15 to protest the new rule. They also restricted assembly in a Muslim neighborhood in New Delhi where demonstrators on Tuesday torched a police booth and several vehicles.