4 killed; 50 injured in Delhi violence over CAA

Kashmir Times. Dated: 2/25/2020 10:40:32 AM

NEW DELHI, Feb 24(Agencies): At least four people, including a cop, were killed and around 50 others were injured today after violence broke out across northeast Delhi for a second time in less than 24 hours. Protesters for and against the controversial citizenship law threw stones, set vehicles and shops ablaze and transformed parts of the national capital into a war zone, forcing the deployment of paramilitary forces and the banning of large gatherings in affected areas.
In the evening, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the situation was "under control" but violence continues to be reported from neighbourhoods in the area. The Union Home Ministry has said it will "monitor the situation." The violence came mere hours before United States President Donald Trump, who landed shortly before 7.30 PM, was expected in Delhi.
One of the civilians who died during violence in Kardampuri was hit on the head, Delhi Police said this evening. The Delhi Police officer - Head Constable Rattan Lal, 42, - was killed in Chand Bagh, while a Deputy Commissioner was injured in Gokulpuri.
Several disturbing videos of the violence emerged through the day, including one late in the evening that showed a massive fire consuming the tyre market in Gokulpuri. In other videos of the violence, which rapidly spread to Bhajanpura, Maujpur, Jaffrabad and other areas, vehicles, shops and buildings were also set ablaze. A petrol pump was set on fire in Bhajanpura as petrol bombs were thrown by anti-CAA protesters.
In one video a man in a red shirt can be seen running at an unarmed Delhi Police oficer in Jaffrabad, where over 1,000 women began a peaceful protest on Saturday night, waving what appears to be a gun. Other videos show people from both groups breaking off chunks from the concrete divider along the road to throw at each other. In at least one of these videos shouts of "Jai Shri Ram" can be heard.
Delhi Police initially resorted to firing tear gas shells. Once the violence escalated, paramilitary forces were called in; a Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been sent to Khajoori Khas, which is around 10 kilometres from Bhajanpura. Delhi Metro has closed the Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar stations.
Large gatherings have been banned in northeast Delhi under Section 144. They have also been imposed outside Delhi Police Headquarters after calls for protest marches by the JNU Students Union against the "Sanghi police's brutal suppression of peaceful protests and complicity with violence unleashed... in northeast Delhi."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who expressed sorrow at the death of the Delhi Police officer, called the violence “very distressing” and urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah - under whose control Delhi Police rolls up - to "restore law and order and ensure peace and harmony is maintained." Political analyst Yogendra Yadav also took to Twitter to raise alarm over the clashes.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said he had "instructed Delhi Police to ensure law and order is maintained." "The situation is being closely monitored. I urge everyone to exercise restraint for maintenance of peace and harmony," he said.
US President Donald Trump landed in Delhi shortly before 7.30 PM. On his first to India, Trump is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier today, addressing a massive crowd at Ahmedabad's newly-built Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cricket Stadium, he described India as 'a nation where people from all faiths - Hindus, Muslims... worship side by side."
Sunday's violence broke out after local BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who has a history of making communal and incendiary comments, held a pro-CAA rally in Maujpur. He gave an “ultimatum” to Delhi police. Sunday also witnessed violence in UP’s Aligarh, where police and anti-CAA protesters clashed. A portion of a shop was set on fire, at least two police vehicles were vandalised and police officers being injured.



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