Nearly 1000 people gathered near the parliament building in New Delhi on Thursday, August 30, to protest the arrest of five prominent rights activists. Thursday's protests follow similar demonstrations across the country on Wednesday, August 29, including in Hyderabad where around ten people were detained for staging a sit-in, and Mumbai. The unrest follows the coordinated arrest of five activists in different parts of the country on Tuesday, August 28, who were unofficially charged with inciting class violence and connections to Maoist rebels. Supporters of the activists allege the central government is trying to silence opposition voices. The Supreme Court ordered the police to release the activists from custody on Wednesday and keep them under house arrests and will rule on a petition challenging their detention next week. Continued protests, particularly closer to the date of the court ruling, are possible in New Delhi and other cities in India, including Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Five prominent activists were arrested in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad on August 28. Police say they have evidence the activists are linked with Kashmiri separatists and were involved in inciting protests and violence between Dalits, the lowest-caste who are frequently marginalized and discriminated against, and right-wing groups in December 2017.
Individuals in India, particularly in the abovementioned areas, should monitor the situation, avoid large gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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