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Police detain historian Ramachandra Guha at protest against citizenship law

A demonstrator displays a placard during a protest to show solidarity with the students of New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia university after police entered the university campus on Sunday following a protest against a new citizenship law, in Bengaluru, December 16, 2019. REUTERS/Nivedita Bhattacharjee

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The police detained one of the country’s most respected historians and intellectuals, Ramachandra Guha, on Thursday during a demonstration in Bengaluru against a new citizenship law based on religion.

Indian news channels showed footage of Guha being dragged by three policemen near barricades erected to hold back protesters challenging the law, which critics say is prejudicial to Muslims and undermines the country’s secular constitution.

“I am protesting non-violently, but look they are stopping us,” said Guha before being surrounded by police at the demonstration, one of four held in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Several cities, including the capital New Delhi and Bengaluru, imposed curbs on public gatherings after some protests turned violent in the days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government passed the legislation last week.

Reporting by Rupam Jain and Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore