CAA clash: Fresh violence breaks out in Delhi; more police deployed

Topics Citizenship Act | NRC | Amit Shah

Vehicles set ablaze as protestors throw brick-bats during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protestors and supporters of the new citizenship act, at Jafrabad on Monday, February 24, 2020. PTI
Fresh violence broke out in parts of northeast Delhi with mobs pelting stones, vandalising shops and threatening locals on Tuesday, a day after one constable and six civilians were killed in violent clashes over the amended citizenship law, news agency PTI reported.

Additional police personnel have been deployed in Maujpur area of the national capital after more stone-pelting incidents were reported. Following the incidents of stone-pelting in Brahampuri and Maujpur area, Police and Rapid Action Force personnel conducted a flag march in these areas after clashes broke out between two groups, according to ANI.

Smoke was seen going up in some places and streets, including in the epicentre of the trouble Maujpur, were littered with stones, bricks and burnt tyres, testimony to the spiralling violence and bloodshed that took on a communal taint on Monday and injured about 150 people.

Schools were shut with exams being postponed and fearful residents stayed indoors as the area smouldered with tension. Prohibitory orders, banning the assembly of more than four persons, were imposed on Monday and will continue to be in force till March 24.

A resident in Maujpur said he has seen a riot like situation such as this for the first time in 35 years. "The area had always remained peaceful," he told PTI, requesting anonymity.

A meeting was held by Home Minister Amit Shah on late Monday night with senior Delhi Police officers and top Home Ministry officials to review the law and order situation in Delhi.

The death toll in the northeast Delhi violence climbed to seven and at least 80 were injured, a senior police official on Tuesday. A Delhi Police head constable, Ratan Lal, was among the seven killed in the violence that erupted on Monday over the amended citizenship law. Ratan Lal was attached to the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gokulpuri, an official told PTI.

Four civilian succumbed to injuries in the clashes, a Delhi government official said, adding around 78 people with injuries had come to hospital for treatment. At least 11 police personnel, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Shahdara, Amit Sharma and ACP (Gokalpuri) Anuj Kumar were injured while trying to quell the protests. Two CRPF police personnel were also injured, PTI reported.

Section 144 has been imposed in the area.

Several vehicles, shops and houses were torched on Monday, a day after clashes broke out between those against and for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Violence between groups supporting and opposing the CAA was also reported in the Chandbagh and Bhajanpura areas.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday urged Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to restore law and order in the wake of violence in parts of northeast Delhi during protests for and against the new citizenship law.

"Very distressing news regarding disturbance of peace and harmony in parts of Delhi coming in. "I sincerely urge Hon'ble LG n Hon'ble Union Home Minister to restore law and order n ensure that peace and harmony is maintained. Nobody should be allowed to orchestrate flagrations (sic)," he tweeted.

Protestors hurl brick-bats during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protestors and supporters of the new citizenship act on Monday, February 24, 2020. PTI

Meanwhile, the LG has instructed the police commissioner to maintain law and order in the national capital ahead of US President Donald Trump's arrival in the city. "Instructed @DelhiPolice and @CPDelhi to ensure that law and order is maintained in North East Delhi. The situation is being closely monitored. I urge everyone to exercise restraint for maintenance of peace and harmony," Baijal tweeted.

Protestors vandalize a car during a clash between a group of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors and supporters of the new citizenship act, at Maujpur crossing on Monday, February 24, 2020. PTI
Police fired tear gas shells and also resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the protesters. A few policemen also attempted to pacify the groups. The Delhi Metro also closed entry and exit at Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur stations as an uneasy calm prevailed in the area. "Entry & exit of Jaffrbad and Maujpur-Babarpur are closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations," DMRC tweeted.

"Some incidents of violence and arson have been reported in areas of North East District, particularly in the areas of Maujpur, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh and Dayalpur. "It is appealed to the people of Delhi and particularly to the North East District to maintain peace and harmony and not to believe in any rumours. It is also appealed to the media not to circulate any disturbing pictures which may further aggravate the situation," the police said.

Tension simmered in the area after hundreds of anti-CAA protesters, mostly women, blocked a road near the Jaffrabad metro station which connects Seelampur with Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar on Sunday. The women, carrying the tricolour and raising slogans of 'aazadi', said they would not move from the site till the Centre revokes the CAA. 

rotestors during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protestors and supporters of the new citizenship act, at Jafrabad on Monday, February 24, 2020. PTI

Five metro stations on Pink Line closed

The Delhi Metro shut down five stations on its Pink Line in wake of the violence that erupted during clashes. "Entry & exit gates of Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar are closed. Trains will terminate at Welcome metro station," the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) tweeted. The DMRC had earlier shut down Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur metro due to the ongoing protests against the amended law.

The entry and exit of Jaffrabad metro station were closed for over 24 hours.

Situation in Delhi under fully control: Home Secy Ajay Bhalla

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Monday said the situation in the national capital was fully under control and sufficient forces were deployed on the ground.

The home secretary's comments came after violent clashes claimed the life of a policeman in North East Delhi. "The situation in Delhi is fully under control. Senior police officials are on the ground and sufficient forces are also deployed at the spot," Bhalla told reporters. 

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy also said non-violent protests in a democratic country are acceptable but not violence which, he termed, was an attempt to dent India's image during the visit of US President Donald Trump. "My deepest condolences to the family of the Delhi Police Head Constable who lost his life amidst the protests in Delhi. Our @narendramodi government condemns all forms of violence and we assure a stern action against the culprits," Reddy tweeted.

A car in flames near a vandalised fruit shop during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protestors and supporters of the new citizenship act on Monday, February 24, 2020. PTI

Congress calls for peace, seeks Amit Shah's resignation

The Congress on Monday questioned the 'silence' of Home Minister Amit Shah over the clashes in Delhi and demanded his resignation, as party leader Rahul Gandhi urged people to show restraint. Gandhi condemning the violence said, "The violence today in Delhi is disturbing & must be unequivocally condemned. Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified."

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the entire day was filled with violence in Delhi and appealed to Delhiites to maintain peace, asserting that violence only causes harm to common people and the country. "The entire day in the capital city of Delhi was full of violence. Violence only causes damage to the general public and the country. We all have the responsibility to stop it," Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. "Mahatma Gandhi's country is a country of peace. I appeal for peace to all Delhiites and request Congress workers to make efforts for maintaining peace," the Congress general secretary said.

Police personnel attempt to regain control during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protestors and supporters on Monday, February 24, 2020. PTI

Schools to be shut in affected areas

All government and private schools to be shut on Tuesday in violence affected North East Delhi. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has requested HRD minister to postpone board examination scheduled for the day. CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma told PTI no examination centre in North East Delhi for exams scheduled on the day.

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