Seven killed in Delhi violence during Donald Trump visit

Sun Online Desk

25th February, 2020 12:29:48 printer

Seven killed in Delhi violence during Donald Trump visit

Seven people, including a cop, were killed and nearly 100 were injured as a unprecedented violence spiralled over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi of India on Monday, hours before a visit by US President Donald Trump, reports BBC.

Section 144 was imposed in northeast Delhi for one month while home minister Amit Shah called a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, according to a report of Times of India on Tuesday.

Vehicles were set alight in the clashes, between supporters and opponents of the law, which critics say targets India's 200 million Muslims.

Parts of the city remain tense as Trump prepares for talks on Tuesday.

The violence in the Muslim-majority areas in north-east Delhi began on Sunday and continued into Monday. It is the first time a member of the security forces has been killed in the unrest around India since it erupted late last year.

The new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) grants amnesty to non-Muslim immigrants from three nearby Muslim-majority countries.

Critics of the bill say it discriminates against Muslims. But the government says the protests are unnecessary as it only seeks to give amnesty to persecuted minorities.

The violence in Delhi on Monday night saw protesters in the area firmly split along religious lines, BBC correspondents said.

Protests against the bill so far, have been largely led by Muslim women and men, but a lot of Hindus have also joined them.

Clashes first broke out on Sunday and both sides have blamed each other for starting the violence.

The violence spilled into Monday, and police fired tear gas shells and led baton charges to disperse the stone-throwing crowds. TV footage showed flames and smoke billowing from buildings.

At least 35 people are being treated in Delhi's GTB hospital for serious injuries, hospital officials told BBC Hindi.

"One of the seriously injured is a senior police officer. He has now been moved to another hospital for specialised treatment," an official said.

Shahid Alvi, an auto rickshaw driver, died because of a bullet injury he suffered during the protest. His brother Rashid told BBC Hindi that Shahid got married just a month ago.

"He was shot in the stomach during the protest and died while we were taking him to the hospital," he said.

The BBC's Anshul Verma says he saw charred vehicles and streets full of stones in areas like Jafrabad and Chand Bagh on Tuesday morning.


'Looks like a war zone'

"These areas looked like a war zone. Police were checking identity cards of people who entering these areas this morning. Some Metro stations have also been shut. Everybody looked tense," he added.

Delhi's freshly re-elected Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, called on the federal government to restore law and order.

The capital's police force reports directly to Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

One of its leaders had threatened a group of protesters staging a sit-in against the CAA over the weekend, telling them that they would be forcibly cleared once Donald Trump had left India.

The new law has raised fears that India's secular status is at risk.

Modi and Trump, who lead the world's two largest democracies, are to hold formal talks in the capital on Tuesday. It's unclear if the Trump administration will comment on the violence.