Violence over Citizenship Law

Death toll rises to 11 in Delhi

26 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: Riot like situation prevailed across northeast Delhi with eleven people including a policeman succumbing and over a 100 injured in violent clashes that continued unabated for a second day on Tuesday, Indian media reported.

Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital authorities said four people were declared brought dead by doctors at the hospital on Tuesday, adding to the five that were reported until last evening.

Thirty-five injured people were also brought to the hospital, the authorities added.

“Fifty per cent of those injured sustained bullet injuries,” a doctor at the hospital said.

Fresh violence broke out on Tuesday—the third day of the violence. Thick smoke billowed in the air and mobs roamed unchecked through the streets, pelting stones, vandalising shops and threatening locals.

As tension smouldered in the city’s northeast, rioters damaged two fire tenders in Gokulpuri and crowds raising incendiary slogans set on fire a bike in the epicentre of the trouble Maujpur.

Streets in many parts of the area were littered with stones, bricks and burnt tyres, mute testimony to the spiralling violence and bloodshed that took on a communal taint on Monday and injured about 150 people, including 48 police personnel.

With violence continuing unabated, Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik and others to address the situation.

The meeting resolved that workers of political parties should join hands to restore peace and peace committees should be reactivated in all localities.

In scenes not seen in the national capital for decades, frenzied groups, armed with sticks, stones and rods, were seen thrashing people on the road in Maujpur and also venting their ire on e-rickshaws and other vehicles. Many journalists were heckled and told to go back. Schools were shut and fearful residents stayed indoors as restless crowds roamed the streets, seemingly unmindful of prohibitory orders restricting the assembly of more than four people imposed by police on Monday.

Eyewitnesses said the police presence on several riot hit areas was negligible and police action wanting.

Journalists covering the violence were attacked. Three journalists — Arvind Gunasekara and Saurabh Shukla from NDTv and Aakash from JK247 News channel we’re assaulted by rioting mobs when they were on the field in northeast Delhi to cover the violence.

All were admitted to hospitals and said to be stable.

Houses were also torched in parts of northeast Delhi, with government sources ruling out calling in the Army.

“There is hardly any police presence in the area. Rioters are running around threatening people, vandalising shops. The law and order situation is extremely bad. Families need to be evacuated. We are unsafe in our own homes,” said a resident of Maujpur, requesting anonymity.

Another added that this is the first time in 35 years—possibly since the 1984 anti-Sikh riots—that he has seen a situation such as this. “The area had always remained peaceful,” he told PTI.

Police sources said 48 police personnel and 98 civilians were injured in Monday’s clashes between pro and anti CAA groups at Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Khureji Khas and Bhajanpura. Three firemen also received injuries while dousing flames in the area.

The death toll climbed to seven—six civilians and Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal—on Tuesday, a senior police official said. While Lal died of injuries sustained during stone pelting in Chand Bagh, it is not yet clear what killed the others or who they all were.

The death toll climbed to seven—six civilians and Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal—on Tuesday, a senior police official said. While Lal died of injuries sustained during stone pelting in Chand Bagh, it is not yet clear what killed the others or who they all were.


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