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Indian PM Modi Cracks Down on Political Opponents Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

HeadlineApr 15, 2020

In India, press freedom and civil liberties groups are sounding the alarm that the government of Narendra Modi is using the coronavirus outbreak to crack down on opponents and dissidents. Earlier this month, police arrested prominent journalist Siddharth Varadarajan, accusing him of spreading “discord” and “rumors,” after he reportedly criticized a Hindu nationalist politician for participating in a religious ceremony with dozens of people during the national lockdown. Elsewhere, activist Anand Teltumbde and journalist Gautam Navlakha were arrested Tuesday over charges that both say were fabricated.

Prime Minister Modi has announced India’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown, affecting 1.3 billion people, will be extended until May. In Mumbai, hundreds of migrant workers left homeless and unemployed by the lockdown held a protest Tuesday, demanding the government deliver food and assistance.

Shahbaz: “We are not getting anything here. The government promised to provide money and other amenities, and nothing has been delivered yet.”

Shabana: “We have nothing to do now. We have small kids, and they are not getting anything to eat. What should we do?”

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