Seven killed, 160 injured in violence over India’s controversial law

India on map
India on map

Violence continues unabated in the north-eastern part of the Indian capital as protests against a controversial citizenship law have turned into a communal frenzy.

Seven people, including a policeman have been killed in clashes, with over 160 injured.

Delhi Police on Tuesday imposed prohibitory orders in the northeast region of Delhi amid fresh incidents of stone-pelting.

Police confirmed the killing of seven people in violence that erupted on Monday after anti-citizenship law protesters blocked roads in areas of Delhi.

Law enforcement said around 50 police personnel were also injured in stone-pelting incidents in different parts of the capital.

Beside prohibitory orders, the government has also deployed over 3,000 para-military forces in the area.

“Carrying weapons or any incendiary material is prohibited. Printing, circulation or dissemination of communally sensitive, provocative material even on social media is prohibited.

“Assembly of more than four persons and any kind of demonstration without any permission of competent authority is prohibited,’’ the order issued by Chief of Delhi Police’s North-East district Ved Prakash Surya reads.

India’s federal Home Minister Amit Shah has directed officials to restore normalcy while chairing an urgent meeting in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and other senior officials.

Internal security in the national capital is directly under Shah’s ministry.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said there is a need to seal Delhi’s borders to control the situation.

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“Legislators of the affected areas informed me that there is a severe shortage of police force and police can’t take action till they receive orders from the top.

“I have also asked District Magistrates to take out peace march with police in these areas,’’ Mr Kejriwal said while briefing the media after the meeting held at his residence.

The first violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) enacted by the federal government were witnessed on 15 December in southeast Delhi, where protesters pelted stones and damaged public transport and set fire to a couple of buses.

Police had also cane-charged students of a federally-funded university in the neighbourhood, claiming them responsible for the violence.

Since then, dozens of women, mostly Muslims, from the locality began a sit-in protest at Shaheen Bagh, demanding the withdrawal of the CAA.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, enacted on December 13, 2019 seeks to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants, belonging to minority communities from three neighbouring Islamic countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan “who entered into India on or before Dec. 13, 2014”.

However, the benefit was not extended, conspicuously to Muslim immigrants.

The act was contested by several opposition parties, civic rights groups, and university students as discriminatory on religious grounds and violates the secular credentials of the Indian Constitution.

According to the latest numbers in Delhi, 32 people have lost their lives during protests against the CAA since its enactment.


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