Ten people, including a police constable, were killed and over 100 hurt in the clashes that erupted over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in northeast Delhi district.
Delhi Police Public Relations Officer MS Randhawa said that 130 civilians and 56 police personnel have been injured so far.
Protests broke out between pro and anti-CAA demonstrators across multiple northeast Delhi neighbourhoods like Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Khureji Khas and Bhajanpura on February 24th, 2020. Protesters torched shops, markets, petrol pump, vehicles and houses.
Tension continued on February 25th, 2020 in Northeast Delhi. Stone-throwing between rival groups, arson and vandalism continued on February 25th, 2020 forcing the administration to impose Section 144.
Along with security personnel and civilians, some journalists have also been injured in the clashes. Three reporters and a camera person with NDTV was attacked by an armed mob while covering the violence, the news channel said.
Additional 1,000 armed battalions have been deployed in the Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Khureji Khas, Bhajanpura, Kardampuri, Gokulpuri, and Khajuri. Maujpur is the epicentre of the violence.
The clashes took an ugly turn on February 24th, 2020 when the protesters of both the sides started pelting stone at each other. Police had to resort to firing tear gas shells and lathi-charge to disperse the protesters.
Security personnel conducted flag marches and prohibitory orders were clamped to bring the situation under control. Several videos of the alleged clashes and photographs are doing rounds on the social media.
Delhi Police, hospitals and Delhi Fire Service has been instructed to bring the situation under control.
The violence broke out during US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country. President Ram Nath Kovind will host a dinner in honour of the US President Trump on February 25th, 2020 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed for peace and said rumours should be stopped. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted appeals for action to put an end to the violence in parts of east Delhi.
Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, along with several other Aam Aadmi Party leaders went to the Rajghat, offered tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and prayed that violence ceases in the national capital.
Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik appealed the people to shun violence.
Shah on February 25th, 2020 chaired a meeting on the prevailing situation in Delhi. The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Kejriwal were also present, along with senior officials and representatives of political parties.
Shah said that the borders of Delhi with the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have been under surveillance for the last three days and Delhi Police has been taking adequate steps, like checks and other precautionary measures in view of the upcoming Supreme Court hearing relating to issues pertaining to Citizenship Law.
Shah said that additional forces may be deployed in affected areas, as per requirement. He urged political parties to avoid provocative speeches and statements which could flare up the situation.
All internal examinations in government and private schools in violence-hit northeast Delhi have been cancelled. “Schools shal remain closed in North east district,” tweeted Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia.
In the meeting, Shah spoke of the need to re-activate local peace committees and said that those committees should include representatives of all sections of society, religions and eminent local persons.
Shah urged political parties to ask their local representatives to hold meetings in sensitive areas and instructed senior police officers to visit vulnerable police stations at the earliest. He added that special officers would be deployed in affected areas.