New Delhi: Hours before U.S President Donald Trump was to arrive in the city, clashes broke out in north-east Delhi after protests for and against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) took place on 24 February.
A head constable from Delhi police was killed in Chand Bagh during the clashes, while a deputy commissioner was injured in Gokulpuri. According to media reports, the violence spread to Bhajanpura, Maujpur, and Jaffrabad. Amidst the violence, several shops, buildings and vehicles were set on fire and destroyed.
In another incident, an unidentified gunman pointed his gun at a police officer, demanding that he back off, in the area near Jaffrabad. Following this, the gunman fired in the air, amidst stone-pelting and chants of ‘Jai Shree Ram’. In an attempt to control the situation, Section 144 has been imposed in parts of north-east Delhi. The Delhi police employed heavy tear-gas shelling to keep the situation under control, while paramilitary forces were also called. Four Metro stations in Delhi have been shut down.
Meanwhile, the Union Home ministry, in a statement, said the situation in Delhi was being monitored. Commenting on the violence, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Very distressing news regarding disturbance of peace and harmony in parts of Delhi coming in. I sincerely urge Hon’ble LG n Hon'ble Union Home Minister to restore law and order n ensure that peace and harmony is maintained. Nobody should be allowed to orchestrate flagrations.”
Condemning the violence, minister of state for Home affair G. Kishan Reddy said the protests have been orchestrated to defame the image of India ahead of Mr Trump’s visit to the national capital. “Violence in north-east Delhi orchestrated with an eye on US President's visit to India. I condemn it. Govt of India will never tolerate violence. We will take strict action against those responsible. MHA is monitoring the situation,” he said.
The violence flared up after a pro-CAA rally led by local BJP leader Kapil Mishra escalated on Sunday. Clashes have continued in Maujpur since February 23 after the BJP leader gathered pro-CAA supporters near Maujpur-Babarpur Metro station, 2 km away from Jaffrabad, where at least 500 women were staging a peaceful sit-in protest since 22 February against the CAA.