Delhi clashes leave 20 dead
8 || risingbd.com
The death toll in the unprecedented violence in Delhi since Sunday has climbed to 20.
Stone-throwing between rival groups, arson and vandalism on Tuesday marked unrelenting violence over citizenship law protests for more than 24 hours in northeast Delhi. Over 150 people have been injured in the clashes.
The violence-hit areas continue to remain tense this morning, with police and paramilitary personnel on the ground. Late last night, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited areas affected by the violence and met with top police officers. Mr Doval visited areas such as Seelampur, Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Gokulpuri Chowk to take stock of the law and order situation.
The Cabinet Committee on Security - the final decision-making body on matters related to country's security - will meet today to discuss the violence in the capital. Mr Doval will brief the committee of the situation. The violence, which left neighbourhoods looking as though it was a war zone, also led to the postponement of CBSE board exams to be held in affected areas on Wednesday.
The Delhi High Court, in a late-night order, asked the police to ensure safe passage and emergency treatment for those injured in the unprecedented violence in the capital since for the last three days. The hearing by a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court took place at the residence of Justice S Murlidhar. The court was hearing an urgent petition seeking safe passage for the injured to medical institutions with adequate facilities. The court will take up the case again at 2:15 pm today.
A large crowd, mainly students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia gathered outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence late last night, demanding action against the perpetrators of the violence. Delhi Police used water cannons and dispersed the crowd by 3:30 am.
With the violence spiraling on Tuesday, Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with cops and officials on Tuesday evening, his third in 24 hours. The meeting was also attended by top IPS officer SN Srivastava, who was appointed as the special police commissioner on Tuesday. Mr Shah had cancelled her visit to Kerala today. Mr Shah spoke to the family of Amit Sharma, an injured senior police officer in Delhi's Shahdara area and asked about his health.
The Home Ministry had earlier said the situation was under control even as the number of people killed in the violence kept rising during the day. Ruling out deployment of the army to end violence, it had said enough police and paramilitary personnel were on the ground.
Delhi Police has been heavily criticised for apparent inaction when the violence unfolded and for deploying inadequate forces on the ground. "The Ministry of Home Affairs is continually supporting us. We have adequate forces," Delhi police chef Amulya Patnaik told news agency ANI on Tuesday.
On Tuesday evening, a renewed push by police had cleared the Jaffrabad metro Station of anti-citizenship law protesters; a group of women had begun a sit-in protest at the spot on Saturday night. Police then began moving towards Maujpur, where stone throwing on Sunday had sparked the violence.
Mr Kejriwal was seen praying at Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi's memorial, on Tuesday as he urged people to stop the violence and requested temples and mosques to issue calls for peace. At night, he met with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs and officials, asking them to take necessary steps to restore peace.
The CBSE has postponed Board exams scheduled today in parts of northeast Delhi. These include two in English Literature for Class 10 and three in Media and Web Applications for Class 12. Meanwhile, the Delhi government has ordered all private and government schools to remain closed.
Large gatherings have been banned across northeast Delhi. These orders have been in place since Monday night but have had limited effect. On Tuesday evening, while denying reports of a curfew having been imposed, Delhi Police also appealed for peace. Taking to Twitter, the police said it was making "earnest efforts... to restore normalcy".
Government sources have said the violence appears to have been "orchestrated", as it came at a time when US President Donald Trumpwas visiting the country. Mr Trump was asked for his reaction to the violence and said he had not discussed it with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it is "up to India" to deal with it". However, he did say America appreciated PM Modi's efforts to ensure religious freedom in India.