CAA violence: CBSE postpones board exams in northeast Delhi

Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel conduct flag march during clashes between those against and those supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, in Delhi
CBSE has postponed Class 10, 12 exams in northeast Delhi scheduled on Wednesday while exams will be held in remaining areas as per schedule, officials involved with the decision said. The exams scheduled for February 26th, 2020 are now postponed and the new dates will be notfied shortly, CBSE said.

The decision comes after the Delhi High Court on Tuesday had asked the CBSE to decide at the earliest on rescheduling Wednesday's board exam at one of the centres in the north-east Delhi where violence related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act have claimed 13 lives.

Central Board of Secondary Education: On the request of Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi and to avoid inconvenience to students, staffs and parents, the Board has decided to postpone Class 10 and 12 exams scheduled for February 26 in north east part of Delhi.

— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Delhi Police denied shortage of security forces, saying sufficient number of policemen and paramilitary troops have been deployed to curb incidents of violence over the Citizenship Act in the national capital. He made the comment few hours after Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik informed the Ministry of Home Affairs that it did not have adequate forces to control the rioters immediately.

Delhi Police PRO, MS Randhawa said CRPF, RAF and additional resources are active while 11 FIRs have been registered against rioters. 

Meanwhile Delhi Police conducted flag marches in Delhi's Bhajanpura and Khureji Khas on Tuesday after the areas witnessed arson and stone pelting. A battery shop was set on fire in Bhajanpura. The shop was vandalised and burnt batteries were strewn on the road.

Indian National Congress has called a meeting of its top body, the CWC, at the party headquarters tomorrow morning to discuss the prevailing situation in Delhi.

According to Congress sources, Interim President Sonia Gandhi called AICC Delhi Incharge Shakti Sinh Gohil and discussed the current situation in the national capital.

Earlier, after violence over controversial Citizenship Act claimed 13 lives and left over hundred injured in Delhi, ANI reported. Home Minister Amit Shah convened a high-level meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to resolve the matter. 

Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital official: 13 deaths have been reported since yesterday. #DelhiViolence

— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
Smoke billows from Gokalpuri neighbourhood during clashes between those against and supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in East Delhi
The meeting was attended by Delhi LG Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik and others. Congress leader Subhash Chopra and BJP's Manoj Tiwari and Ramvir Bidhuri also attended the meeting. The meeting discussed ways to stop the violence and resolved that party workers of all political parties should join hands, reactivate peace committees in all localities to bring back normalcy to the city. It was also stressed that rumour mongering needs to be quelled. 

"It was decided in the meeting that all the political parties will take requisite steps to restore peace in Delhi. The meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah was positive," Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said while addressing the media in New Delhi. When enquired if the deployment of Indian Army will be needed, the CM said for now the neccesary steps are being taken by the police. 

Heavy security deployed following clashes over the new citizenship law at Maujpur area of East Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain later visited the GTB Hospital to meet those injured in the violence over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi.

"The entire country is worried about the violence that took place in Delhi in the past two days. There has been a loss of lives and properties. If violence increases it will affect everyone. All of us are here to offer our prayers to Gandhi Ji who was a follower of non-violence," said Kejriwal while speaking to reporters after meeting the injured. 

Met with victims of violence being treated at the GTB Hospital and Max Hospital. Hindus, Muslims, policemen - none have escaped unhurt.. this madness must end immediately

Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 25, 2020
East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday also visited the Max hospital at Patparganj to meet DCP Shahadra Amit Sharma, ACP Anuj Jain and head constable Yashpal who were injured in the clashes on Monday.

"Nothing can be solved through violence. The solution can only come through dialogue. The government is ready for a discussion and clear every doubt," Gautam Gambhir said after meeting the injured cops.

Dr Sunil Kumar, Medical Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, Delhi: Total 10 deaths and 150 injured admitted at GTB Hospital in the last 24 hours. #DelhiViolence

— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
On Tuesday, fresh incidents of violence broke out in northeast Delhi with mobs targeting shops, pelting stones and thretening locals, news agency PTI reported. Additional forces were deployed in the national capital after reports of more stone pelting came in from Brahampuri and Maujpur area. Maujpur-Babarpur metro station has become a battle ground with rival groups pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs at each other with bullets being fired intermittently. 

Policemen were trying to control the situation by firing tear gas shells even as rioters cover their faces with wet handkerchiefs. The police also admitted around 10 people to Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital after they suffered injuries in stone-pelting incidents in Jaffrabad and Maujpur on Tuesday. Doctors at the hospital told IANS that more than 15 people have sustained bullet injuries.

Latest visuals from Chand Bagh area in violence-hit North East Delhi.

— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
On Tuesday afternoon, stone-throwing incident was reported from Kardampuri area near the Maujpur metro station area. Locals claimed that four bullets were fired by an unidentified person in which a person was injured and taken to a hospital. 

"Additional stretchers and wheelchairs are being placed to transport the increasing toll of the injured," said an official at GTB hospital.

Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar, who is leading his force, told IANS, "The situation is tense. We are trying to bring it under control."

Delhi Fire Service on Sunday said it attended to 70 calls from violence-affected areas in northeast Delhi. A firefighter was also injured during stone-pelting while 5 fire tenders were damaged, according to reports.

Student bodies to stage protest march against CAA violence

Student bodies will stage a protest march from Ramlila Maiden to Parliament on March 3 against the amended citizenship law and to condemn the communal violence in northeast Delhi, which has claimed 13 lives.

The Young India Coordination Committee, comprising student bodies, also urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Police to take action to control the violence.

IPS officer Shrivastava appointed

IPS officer S N Shrivastava has been appointed as the new Delhi Police Special Commissioner (Law and Order) after the Union home ministry repatriated him from the CRPF on Tuesday night to take control of the violence in the national capital, officials said.
Shrivastava, a 1985-batch AGMUT cadre officer, is tipped to take over as the new Delhi Police chief after incumbent Amulya Patnaik's extended tenure ends on February 29.

Delhi Minorities Commission demands imposition of curfew in violence-affected areas

The Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on Tuesday appealed to the Lt Governor Anil Baijal to impose curfew in violence-affected areas. The DMC chairman Zafarul Islam, in a letter, expressed apprehension that violence may escalate after departure of Donald Trump. 

"The situation may worsen tomorrow after President Trump leaves tonight. Please treat this as urgent as any delay will result in more loss of lives and damage," Khan said in his letter demanding imposition of curfew in the violence-hit areas.

Journalists attacked

Journalists covering the violence are heckled and forced to delete pictures or videos. A JK24X7 news journalist sustained bullet injury while covering the clashes. He was shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. NDTV said its journalist Arvind Gunasekar was beaten up by rioters when he was covering the clashes while his fellow reporter Saurabh Shukla, who tried to save Gunasekar, was punched. 

Many journalists took to social media to share their experiences of how they were heckled by rioters while some alleged they were questioned about their religious identity.

Passersby look at the charred petrol pump which was set ablaze by rioters yesterday during clashes over the new citizenship law, in Bhajanpura area of East Delhi

Shaheen Bagh remains calm

While reports of violence pours in from different parts of Delhi, Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of the anti-CAA protests, has remained calm. The women protesters at the site remain determined to continue with the protest till the Citizenship Act is rolled back. 
One of the protesters said: "We know the violence is being perpetrated with the complicity of higher ups to scare us but we are not going to be cowed down."

Meanwhile Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday appealed to the people of Delhi to stop violence and maintain peace in the city. Tiwari said "anti-national elements" were behind the prevailing tension and claimed it "indicates a bigger conspiracy" at the time of US President Donald Trump's India visit.

"The situation is tense. This indicates a bigger conspiracy by anti-national elements. Some people are trying to provoke others at the time of US President Donald Trump's India visit. Everyone should understand that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is not taking away anyone's citizenship," he told ANI. 

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday also called for peace and harmony in the national capital after incidents of violence erupted in parts of Delhi between pro and anti CAA protestors, which has led to the death of 10 people.

"Both the Chief Minister (Arvind Kejriwal) and I want that peace and harmony should remain intact in Delhi. We should do everything possible to maintain peace and order," he said while speaking to media in New Delhi.

Opposition attacks govt

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh slammed the govt and said the people's reaction to the "draconian" citizenship law was expected and the anger would only increase if the Act is not withdrawn. 

"The public reaction to the CAA had to be expected since the BJP government at the Centre was trying to destroy India's cherished constitutional and social fabric through this draconian legislation," Singh said when queried over the violence in Delhi and other parts of the country.

Mamata Banerjee expressed concern over the violence and appealed for calm and peace. The West Bengal CM said she was keeping a tab on situation in Delhi. 

"I would like to appeal to everyone to maintain peace. Any form of violence cannot be supported," Banerjee told reporters at the Kolkata airport before leaving for Odisha.

While All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday urged the PM to deploy Army to curb the violence over clashes between pro and anti CAA protesters in Delhi. Owaisi also alleged that the Delhi Police failed to perform its duties and "colluded with the mobs". 

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala appealed for peace and condemned violence. He said," We appeal to all to maintain peace & condemn this act of violence in Delhi.Some communal powers, for their political gains, are working towards creating differences using religion. Every Congress worker will help govt to maintain peace, law & order in capital." 

Randeep Surjewala, Congress: We appeal to all to maintain peace&condemn this act of violence in Delhi.Some communal powers,for their political gains,are working towards creating differences using religion.Every Congress worker will help govt to maintain peace,law&order in capital

— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020

He also said, "This is Gandhi, Nehru, Patel's India, can any Indian accept this mindless violence? Congress appeals to the people of Delhi to maintain communal harmony and thwart all attempts of the forces dividing the country on the basis of religion."

Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram called for repealing the new Citizenship Amendment Act and blamed the govt for the violence in Delhi. He said," "We had warned that CAA was deeply divisive and should be repealed or abandoned. Our warning fell on deaf ears. The people are paying the price for putting in power insensitive and short-sighted leaders." 

Former BJP leader and current Congress leader Udit Raj blamed the BJP and RSS for violence and said they orchestrated riots in Delhi. 

"There could be nothing more shameful than the riots that took place in the national capital. It was believed that Delhi was safe but yesterday they burnt the national capital too. The Police, RSS and BJP have orchestrated the riots in Maujpur, Jaffrabad and Karawal Nagar," Raj told ANI.

Security personnel conduct flag march during clashes between those against and supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act near Jafrabad metro station in north east Delhi
SC to hear pleas over CAA violence

The SC on Tuesday agreed to hear plea filed by former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and others seeking lodginf of FIRs over the recent clashes in the city over Citizenship Act. The plea sought to ensure safety of women sitting on protest against CAA at Shaheen Bagh and other places.

The application was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench of justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph. The bench agreed to hear the matter on Wednesday.

Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad and social activist Bahadur Abbas Naqvi also filed pleas in SC which the court agreed to hear on Wednesday. The plea cited BJP leader Kapil Mishra tweet and held him responsible for inciting and orchestrating the violence. 

Bengal, Lucknow on alert

After violence broke out in Delhi over Citizenship Act, police stations across West Bengal have been asked to remain "extremely alert," a senior Kolkata Police officer said. All officers of the West Bengal Police have been directed to maintain strict vigil in their respective areas. 

Earlier, West Bengal had witnessed violence over the contentious law from December 13 to 17 with several railway stations and other public properties damaged.

Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow has been put on high alert following violent clashes over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in parts of Delhi, a police official said on Tuesday.

Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey said additional force has been deployed in Ghantaghar area where women and others have been staging a protest against the CAA for the past one month.

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