Thousands oppose Indian citizenship for Hindu migrants

GAUHATI, India — Thousands of people are holding a street protest against a decision by the Indian government to grant citizenship mainly to Hindus who have fled neighboring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, alleging persecution by the Muslim majority there.

The protesters, carrying placards and banners, say the decision would change the demographic profile of northeastern Assam state.

Friday's protest in Gauhati, the state capital, is led by the All Assam Students Union, which demands deportation of thousands of illegal migrants, both Hindus and Muslims, from neighboring Bangladesh.

The union leader Samujjal Bhattacharya said at the rally that the identity of people of Assam is under threat and they cannot allow any illegal migrant to stay in the state. Assam is majority Hindu but Muslims make up a third of the population.

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