STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: Smoke billowed in the air and mobs roamed unchecked through the streets, burning shops, pelting stones and threatening locals, as fresh violence tore through northeast Delhi, killing six more people on Tuesday and taking the toll in the communal clashes over the amended citizenship law to 11. As tension smouldered in the national capital’s northeast and the sun set over another restive day, violence cut a swathe through several localities, including Chand Bagh and Bhajanpura, with stones and other missiles hurled and shops set ablaze. Rioters damaged two fire tenders in Gokulpuri and crowds raising incendiary slogans set on fire fruit carts, rickshaws and anything that came in their way in the epicentre of the trouble Maujpur and other places. With US President Donald Trump also in the city, Delhi Police ramped up security. It fired teargas shells to disperse the rioters — armed with stones, rods and even swords and many wearing helmets to protect themselves — and was assisted by paramilitary personnel.
SC, HC to hear pleas on violence todayNew Delhi: The pleas relating to the north-east Delhi violence, which has claimed 11 lives, reached the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court on Tuesday and they will hear the matter on Wednesday.The first plea was mentioned in the apex court on behalf of former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and others who sought direction to the police to lodge FIRs on complaints regarding the ongoing violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph will hear the fresh application on Wednesday when it will also take up the pleas seeking removal of protestors from Shaheen Bagh, on which the court-appointed interlocutors have filed a report in sealed cover.Shortly after the mentioning in the apex court, a similar plea filed by human rights activist Harsh Mander and activist Farah Naqvi was mentioned before the high court, which also agreed to hear it on Wednesday.Mander and Naqvi have also sought registration of FIRs and arrest of persons involved in the ongoing violence in north-east Delhi over CAA.The petition before the high court specifically sought action against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra for allegedly making hate speeches and inciting violence.The fresh application, filed in the apex court by Habibullah, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and social activist Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, has also sought direction to the authorities to provide adequate security and ensure safety of women protestors at Shaheen Bagh and other places in the national capital.They have already filed an intervention application in the top court in the pending plea seeking removal of protestors from Shaheen Bagh.In their fresh application, they have alleged that on February 23, “Kapil Mishra, who is known for making speeches to instigate crowds with violence and vandalism, carried out a pro-CAA rally next to the Maujpur-Babarpur metro station which is 2km away from peaceful protests that were going on at Jaffrabad”.
Streets were littered with mangled remains of vehicles, bricks and burnt tyres, mute testimony to the violence and bloodshed that took on a communal taint on Monday and injured about 180 people, including 48 police personnel. According to GTB Hospital Medical Superintendent Sunil Kumar, six people were declared brought dead on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 11. At least 35 injured people were also taken to the hospital today. “Fifty per cent of those injured have sustained bullet injuries,” Kumar added.
As the violence continued unabated, police officials said the situation was under control and flag marches were conducted in Bhajanpura, Khajuri Khas and other places.
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.
In scenes not seen in the national capital for decades, frenzied groups thrashed people on the road and vandalised vehicles.
The media also came under attack.
Akshay, a journalist with JK 24X7 News, received a bullet injury and was in a serious condition in hospital, and two reporters from NDTV were beaten and punched by rioters. Many other journalists were heckled and told to go back.
Schools were shut and fearful residents stayed indoors as restless crowds roamed the streets, seemingly unmindful of prohibitory orders restricting the assembly of more than four people imposed on Monday.
“There is hardly any police presence in the area. Rioters are running around threatening people, vandalising shops. Families need to be evacuated. We are unsafe in our own homes,” said a resident of Maujpur, requesting anonymity.
Another added that this is the first time in 35 years — possibly since the 1984 anti-Sikh riots — that he has seen a situation such as this. “The area had always remained peaceful,” he said.
Trouble continued through the day.
Around 5 pm in Chand Bagh, for instance, security personnel were pelted with stones. They chased the mob, only to be attacked afresh with some people also armed with petrol bombs.
A few residents in Yamuna Vihar and Jaffrabad informed that they had seen rioters with swords in their hands.
The 11 killed include Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal. While Lal died of gunshot wounds, it is still not yet clear what killed the others or who they all were.
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.
“Stop this madness,” he said after visiting the injured in GTB Hospital.
Five stations on the Delhi Metro’s Pink Line were closed for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in the wake of the trouble.
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