Delhi

Policeman among 5 killed in Delhi violence over CAA

Stone pelting between youths of two community at Kabir Nagar near Maujpur metro station in north-east Delhi.

Stone pelting between youths of two community at Kabir Nagar near Maujpur metro station in north-east Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Vehicles, shops and a house were set on fire.

A police head constable and four protesters died in violence that erupted over opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Bhajanpura areas of northeast Delhi on Monday.

The violence took a communal colour and spread to other parts of northeast Delhi as organised groups attacked each other, setting shops and vehicles on fire.

Tensions escalated hours before U.S. President Donald Trump was scheduled to reach Delhi for bilateral talks as part of his first state visit to India. While Mr. Trump will stay in central Delhi, more than 20 km from the violence, he is scheduled to travel to Rashtrapati Bhavan and Raj Ghat in Old Delhi.

Additional Medical Superintendent, Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Dr. Rajesh Kalra, said five persons, including head constable Rattan Lal, died during the violence.

Head constable Rattan Lal, 42, succumbed to head injuries after being hit by a stone in Gokulpuri. He had been trying to control the situation along with his contingent, when he was hit. He was a native of Sikar in Rajasthan and was posted in the office of ACP (Gokalpuri).

 

DCP (Shahadra) Amit Sharma, ACP (Gokulpuri) Anuj and Head Constable Chatarapal also suffered injuries and were treated in hospital.

Dr. Kalra added that over 50 persons had sustained injuries, which were due to stone-throwing and firing.

Violence during the clash

Violence during the clash   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

During the violence, a group of anti-CAA protesters torched two cars and an e-rickshaw in the Jaffrabad area and in retaliation, pro-CAA protesters set four shops ablaze and pelted stones at other shops after identifying them as belonging to members of the minority community.

The violence erupted in the presence of nearly 100 policemen, who seemingly did not respond to the situation.

The violence over the CAA spilled over from Sunday. On Monday, fresh cases of stone-throwing were reported from near the Babarpur-Maujpur metro station. Later, a similar incident was reported from Khajuri Khas.

Man with gun held

A senior police officer said in the evening that a man who was seen firing during the violence in the Jaffrabad area, had been identified as Shahrukh Khan and detained. The police also recovered a pistol from him.

Several members identified as belonging to the minority community were thrashed by a mob in the area, according to eyewitness accounts.

Vehicles, shops and a house were set on fire and paramilitary forces were deployed in the area as anti-CAA protesters engaged in violence. Flame and smoke billowed from buildings close to the metro station, two mini-trucks were vandalised and a fire tender set ablaze.

The Delhi Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters and also appealed to residents to maintain peace and harmony. Stone pelting continued till late in the evening in the Khajuri Khas area. Stone-throwing continued till late in the evening in the Khhajuri Khas area. Security forces staged a flag march in Maujpur to disperse the mobs.

A tyre market was set on fire at Gokulpuri late in the evening. Fifteen fire tenders were rushed to bring the blaze under control.

Schools closed

All government and private schools in northeast Delhi will be closed on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.

Requesting Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to immediately deploy police to control the riot-like situation, Delhi Minister and Babarpur MLA Gopal Rai said in a tweet that there was an atmosphere of panic in Babarpur.

Also on Twitter, Lt. Governor Baijal said: “Instructed @DelhiPolice and @CPDelhito ensure that law and order is maintained in North East Delhi. The situation is being closely monitored. I urge everyone to exercise restraint.”

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla told reporters the situation was under control and sufficient forces had been deployed.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified. “The violence today in Delhi is disturbing and must be unequivocally condemned... I urge the citizens of Delhi to show restraint, compassion and understanding no matter what the provocation,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:37:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/pro-anti-caa-groups-clash-in-northeast-delhis-maujpur/article30901937.ece

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