The worst violence against Indian Muslims in decades has rocked India's New Delhi, claiming the lives of at least 27 people in the last three days.
Deadly incidents erupted on Sunday after clashes broke out between those protesting for a controversial citizenship law passed last year and others rioting against it.
The legislation allows the issuing of citizenship based on religion and grants amnesty to "persecuted minorities" from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan with the exception of Muslims. People of the faith have been protesting the unjust law for weeks. Their riots have been met with violence that has escalated further due to incitement from a few Hindu politicians.
Early on Sunday, Kapil Mishra, a leader from the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), issued a statement against protesters opposing the law. According to the BBC, the man also led a rally in Jaffrabad and tweeted out asking people to gather in the area. In his post, Mishra gave Delhi Police three days to clear all protests and "warned of consequences if they failed to do so." The violence erupted shortly after his statements started circulating online.
Both Muslim and Hindu individuals are believed to be among the dead and injured but the attacks have been centered around Muslim areas of the city.
Muslim-majority neighborhoods affected so far include Maujpur, Mustafabad, Jaffrabad, and Shiv Vihar. As tensions continue to rise, authorities restricted access to violence-hit areas. Though no clashes were reported on Wednesday, tensions were still high in the city.
On Wednesday, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke a three-day silence over the violent happenings, rooting for peace on Twitter.
The politician had been busy welcoming U.S. President Donald Trump, who was on a trip to India when the violent incidents started. During his trip to the country, Trump ironically praised the PM's religious tolerance record as violence escalated.
The horrific violence sent shockwaves across the world
Videos and images of mosques burning and Muslims being beaten up by Hindu mobs are all over social media. Footage capturing face-offs between the two parties have also made it online.
People are sharing clips showing Muslim residents of some affected towns fleeing the violence. Others are detailing the horrors being witnessed by thousands of innocent human beings.
To say that people are shocked would be an understatement
Senseless loss of human life
Mosques, properties and shops were burned down
But despite it all, many are setting a powerful example of coexistence
Nearly 15 percent of India's 1.3 billion population is Muslim
Millions of Indian Muslims have been subjected to increasing discrimination in recent years.
From facing a citizenship law that is clearly biased to violence targeting their communities, people of the Islamic faith are feeling threatened in their own country.
The nationality law passed last year not only goes against the country's secular constitution but raises concerns among many that India is becoming a "Hindu state that treats Muslims as second-class citizens."