New Delhi, Feb 25: Stones-throwing between rival groups, arson and vandalizing of buildings on Tuesday marked unrelenting violence over citizenship law protests for more than 24 hours in a part of Delhi, in which seven have been killed and 100 injured. Shops were burnt and people armed with sticks and rods were on streets in Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh and Karawal Nagar in northeast Delhi, which saw clashes between protesters for and against the controversial citizenship law spiral into unprecedented violence in the capital city.
Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed for peace and said rumours should be stopped after his meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The spiraling violence comes even as US President Donald Trump, his family and a high-powered American delegation are in the capital.
After his meeting with Amit Shah, Mr Kejriwal called for sealing the city’s border in areas that saw violence. The Chief Minister had also held a meeting with MLAs and officials from the violence-hit areas. “The police personnel could not do anything because they were not getting orders from their seniors. I will raise this with Amit Shah. They can’t decide whether there should be tear-gassing or lathi-charging without orders from above,” he said at a press conference.
Home Minister Amit Shah also held a late-night meeting with the Delhi police chief, the Union Home Secretary and other senior officials.
Fresh violence has been reported from northeast Delhi areas such as Karawal Nagar, Maujpur, Bhajanpura, Vijay Park and Yamuna Vihar. While stones were thrown neighborhoods such as Maujpur, the fire department has been getting more SOS calls. Three firefighters have been injured after a group of people set a fire engine ablaze and threw stones at another. In Maujpur, a group of people travelling in an e-rickshaw were thrashed and looted of their valuables this morning. In Gokulpuri area, a mob set a tyre market on fire last night. “The situation is very tense. We are continuously receiving calls related to incidents of violence from northeast Delhi,” Delhi Police said in a statement.
Delhi ministers Gopal Rai, Imran Hussain and other Aam Aadmi Party MLAs camped outside Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s residence late last night to discuss with him the law and order situation. Mr Baijal said he had “instructed Delhi Police to ensure law and order is maintained”.
Mr Kejriwal, who expressed sorrow at the death of the Delhi Police officer, called the violence “very distressing” yesterday and urged 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.
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