Northeast Delhi burns: 7 killed, nearly 100 injured in clashes
For nearly 12 hours, Northeast Delhi witnessed high-scale violence on Monday, at a time when US President Donald Trump is in India with his family members and top officials of his administration. When Trump landed from Agra a little before 7:30 pm, the national capital was already on the edge. In the violence, seven people, including a head constable, died, and nearly 100 injured.
The worst-affected area was Maujpur, which was witnessing turmoil since Saturday. Hundreds of women staged a sit-in protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and it continued till Sunday. On Sunday, BJP leader Kapil Mishra took out a rally supporting CAA and also gave a warning to Delhi Police to clear the area within three days. Soon, stones were pelted from both sides.
Yesterday, a fresh wave of violence started around 11 am, took a communal turn, and both sides claim they didn't throw the first stone. Visuals showed a young man, wearing a red t-shirt, fired bullets at the cops. He was later identified as Shahrukh and was detained. Meanwhile, head constable Ratan Lal lost his life. And Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Shahdara, Amit Sharma, suffered injuries.
Shahdara DCP Amit Sharma who was injured during clashes between two groups in Delhi's Gokulpuri yesterday, is now conscious at a hospital. He underwent a surgery last night and his CT Scan was done this morning. He is safe and out of danger. https://t.co/jBFir6BrXi— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
At least three vehicles, stationed outside houses, were set on fire. A building that ensconced a shop on the ground floor was burnt and several houses were vandalized. Many people were injured. Earlier, anti-CAA protesters had brought roses for the supporters of the law, but as the day passed roses were replaced with wooden sticks, glass bottles, stones, and even bullets.
By 3 pm, additional forces were sent and a flag march conducted. Section 144 was imposed in the area too, but as it turned out, nothing changed on the ground. Later, a horrifying image emerged where a man was seen being thrashed by rioters. The photo was clicked by a Reuters journalist, and the victim wasn't traced till late last night.
According to Indian Express, by late evening messages like "We have to prepare ourselves to save our community, our rights and self-respect" emanated from Maujpur temple. Hours later, stone-pelting resumed in the area. Most of the injured were treated at Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital in Dilshad Garden. Four civilians who died had bullet injuries, confirmed doctors to Hindustan Times.
"Max Hospital, Patparganj received 6 policemen with injuries sustained in civic unrest in parts of Delhi. Four patients are undergoing treatment at the hospital, while two others have been discharged after treatment," said the hospital.
Courtesy the violence, all internal examinations in government and private schools were canceled. The schools will remain shut on Tuesday. "I have talked to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank regarding the board exams and have asked him to postpone them," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted. But CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma clarified Northeast Delhi doesn't have any examination center for Tuesday's board exams.
Since yesterday till 3 am today, the Delhi Fire Department received 45 calls, Fire Director for Northeast Delhi said. After urging the Ministry of Home Affairs to control the situation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who got a thumping majority this month, called a meeting of MLAs of violence-hit areas at his residence today. Home Minister Amit Shah also held a meeting.
Last evening, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi released a statement condemning the violence. She told people there was no place for violence in the land of Mahatma Gandhi. Her son, Rahul, also took the same tone. "Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified," he tweeted. However, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy posed questions to Congress.
"Congress Party and Rahul Gandhi should reveal who is behind this Delhi violence to defame India particularly when Donald Trump is on a visit to the country. We have brought all the necessary forces and Home Minister Amit Shah has given orders to Delhi Police," he said.
Delhi: Police Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel hold flag march in Brahampuri area, after stone-pelting incident between two groups in the area, today morning. #NortheastDelhi pic.twitter.com/NkjrSrmBPD— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020