- Title: INDIA: Anti-Bush protests continue across India
- Date: 3rd March 2006
- Summary: COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST) GENERAL SECRETARY PRAKASH KARAT AND LAWMAKER BRINDA KARAT AT A PROTEST MARCH
- Embargoed: 17th March 2006 17:10
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: International Relations,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVACTOZD7P7BIHZJVS7XYQUTGQB7
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Anti-Bush protests continued to be held across India on Thursday (March 2) as U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sealed a key nuclear deal further cementing ties with the world's largest democracy.
Bush arrived on Wednesday (March 1) after a surprise visit to Afghanistan, where thousands of U.S. troops are still engaged in hunting down the architects of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The pact marks a major breakthrough for New Delhi, long treated as a nuclear pariah by the world, as it allows it to access American atomic technology and fuel to meet its soaring energy needs -- provided U.S. Congress gives its approval.
It is also expected to allow atomic trade between India and other nuclear powers if the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an informal group of nations that controls global nuclear transactions, follows suit by lifting curbs on New Delhi.
Bush's three-day visit, the fifth by a U.S. president to India, was seen as a recognition in Washington of the strategic and economic significance of India after decades of mistrust between the two countries.
His trip has drawn a lot of attention across the country of 1.1 billion people but also prompted large demonstrations.
Tens of thousands of protesters, including communists, Muslims and student activists, demonstrated in several Indian cities, burning effigies of Bush, marching through market places, shouting slogans and holding banners and placards denouncing him, bringing traffic to standstill in a few cities.
Activists of socialist Samajwadi party joined Communists in Bhopal beat the effigy of Bush with slippers to vent their anger.
Similar protests were also held in southern Bangalore city.
Muslims staged a noisy protest in western Mumbai city against his visit with some beating his photograph with slippers and shoes.
Activists later burnt an effigy of Bush as a mark of protest.
In southern Hyderabad city, where Bush is scheduled to visit on Friday (March 3), Communists staged a protest march, including a donkey with an American flag held above its head and a sign held below it reading "I am George W Bush."
In the national capital, tens of hundreds of workers of India's Communist parties, which provide crucial support to the ruling coalition government, gathered in the heart of New Delhi to protest the visit of President Bush.
The demonstrators carrying red flags also took to the streets, chanting slogans such as "Go back, Bush" and "Bush is a killer".
Prakash Karat, general secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), while addressing the rally warned the government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh his party will not tolerate any misadventure by the United States against Iran.
Organisers vowed to hold larger protests and police said security had been stepped up in New Delhi to prevent any trouble, while the American president is in town.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
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