June 24, 2021
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Delhi Violence: Death Toll Reaches 18; Prohibitory Orders Imposed Till March 24

This was the second consecutive day when the northeastern part of the national capital was engulfed by clashes and violence even as US President Donald Trump arrived on Monday evening on the main leg of his India visit.

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Delhi Violence: Death Toll Reaches 18; Prohibitory Orders Imposed Till March 24

Stone pelting, vandalism and arson on Tuesday marked violence over citizenship law protests in which 18 - including a policeman - have been killed and over 150 injured. (Catch live updates on Delhi violence here)

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 violence in the national capital. Armed mobs thrashed people on roads. Many journalists were also beaten up and asked to go back.

Rioters damaged two fire tenders in Gokulpuri and mobs set on fire a bike in Maujpur.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik and others to address the situation.

The meeting resolved that workers of political parties should join hands to restore peace and peace committees should be reactivated in all localities.

Also Read | Violence in Northeast Delhi Aggravated Due To Shortage Of Forces, Delhi Police Tells MHA

The violence began on Monday, hours before US President Donald Trump arrived in the national capital.

Schools were shut and residents stayed indoors as restless crowds roamed the streets even as prohibitory orders restricting the assembly of more than four people imposed by police on Monday.

"There is hardly any police presence in the area. Rioters are running around threatening people, vandalising shops. The law and order situation is extremely bad. Families need to be evacuated. We are unsafe in our own homes," a resident of Maujpur told news agency PTI.

News agency PTI quoted police sources as saying that 48 police personnel and 98 civilians were injured in Monday's clashes between pro and anti CAA groups at Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Khureji Khas and Bhajanpura. Three firemen also received injuries while dousing flames in the area.

The death toll climbed to nine – eight civilians and Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal -- on Tuesday, a senior police official said.

Among those killed was Vinod Kumar, a resident of Ghonda who was brought dead to the hospital and whose body is at the morgue of the Jag Parvesh Hospital.

Also killed was Mohammad Furkan from Kardampuri, near Jafrabad, who got married in 2014 and has two children. His brother, Mohammed Imran, overcome with grief, said they were both in the handicrafts business. 

"He had gone to get some food for his children. Someone told me he had been shot. I couldn't believe it as I had met him barely an hour earlier. I kept calling him... I then rushed to GTB Hospital where I was told that he is dead. My world has crashed around me," he told reporters, sobbing inconsolably outside the hospital.

Imran blamed BJP leader Kapil Mishra's tweet, giving Delhi Police an ultimatum to clear the streets of protesters and saying people would be quiet only until Trump is in India.

 "Before that everything was peaceful," he said.

 Officials said police personnel are talking to local peace committees in a bid restore amity.

"Mischief-makers are being dealt with strictly on the spot," a senior official said.

Kejriwal, who held a meeting with senior officials and MLAs of all parties to discuss the situation, asked people to refrain from violence and said all issues can be dealt with through dialogue.

The chief minister also asked all hospital authorities to give best possible treatment to victims.

He said there is need to seal borders to prevent outsiders from coming and indulging in violence.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Amit Sharma underwent an operation on Monday night for the head injury sustained during the clashes.

East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir visited Max hospital in Patparganj to meet DCP Shahadra Sharma, ACP Anuj Jain and head constable Yashpal.

"Nothing can be solved through violence. The solution can only come through dialogue. The government is ready for a discussion and clear every doubt," said Gambhir after meeting the injured cops.     

Even as heavy deployment of police and security forces in the affected areas of Maujpur, Babarpur, Jaffrabad, Gokulpuri, Brijpuri, incidents of stone-pelting were reported from the interior areas of different localities. Unruly mobs also attempted to set fire to two-wheelers at certain places.

In a bid to clampdown further violence, the police has restricted all unnecessary movements in these areas, with barricades set up on the main roads. The movement of pedestrians along with vehicles on the roads has also been regulated. Simultaneously, the armed personnel of the Delhi Police Rapid Action Force and paramilitary forces have been deployed in large numbers on both sides of the road.

Metro stations in violence-prone areas have been closed. The entrance and exit gates of Jaffarabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar metro stations have been closed.

Prohibitory orders have been imposed in northeast Delhi till March 24.

 Also Read | Delhi Violence Effort To Defame India Globally: MoS Home Affairs

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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