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Indonesia summons envoy over CAA protests, Delhi violence

There have been protests against the violence in New Delhi near the Indian missions in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and Medan, the largest city of North Sumatra province, since the beginning of March.

Updated: Mar 17, 2020 03:16 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel walk past burnt and damaged shops, which were allegedly set on fire by miscreants during communal violence last week, at Gokalpuri market in northeast Delhi on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (Sanchit Khanna/HT file photo)

India has been informed by the Indonesian government about the concerns of organisations and civil society in that country regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the communal violence in New Delhi, people familiar with developments said on Monday.

There have been protests against the violence in New Delhi near the Indian missions in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and Medan, the largest city of North Sumatra province, since the beginning of March.

India’s envoy to Indonesia, Pradeep Kumar, was called in by the foreign ministry in Jakarta to discuss the issue on February 28.

“Civil society and a lot of other organisations had a message to convey and those messages were conveyed (by the foreign ministry to the Indian government),” said one of the people cited above, who spoke on condition of anonymity.



“The people have concerns but the Indonesian government is confident both Indonesia and India are pluralistic, democratic countries,” the person said.

Protests were organised in Jakarta on March 2, 6 and 13 and in Medan on March 2, mainly by civil society groups and Islamic non-government organisations, and the Indonesian government fulfilled its commitments under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 to protect the Indian missions. Authorities deployed some 1,100 policemen in Jakarta and diverted traffic to ensure the security of the Indian missions. It is understood these security measures were unprecedented by the standards of Jakarta.

India has so far rejected criticism of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by other countries and international organisations, describing it as an internal issue. It has also said the government has taken steps to ensure normalcy following the sectarian violence in New Delhi that killed 53 people and injured hundreds.

Indonesia and India have robust bilateral ties, including in defence and security.

Indonesia also played an important role in last year’s efforts in the UN Security Council to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. The country with the world’s largest Muslim population had also supported the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s decision to invite late external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj as a “guest of honour” to a foreign ministers’ meeting in Abu Dhabi last year.

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