Fresh stone pelting in northeast Delhi; CM Kejriwal calls MLAs for urgent meeting
In the northeastern part of national capital Delhi, stones, pieces of bricks and glass shards lay strewn on a 400-metre stretch of road and plumes of smoke billowed from houses on Tuesday morning. All these were reminiscent of the violence which singed Jafrabad, Maujpur and other areas yesterday.
There was fresh stone pelting in the Brahampuri locality in Northeast Delhi on Tuesday morning after which the security personnel conducted a flag march. “The situation is very tense. We are continuously receiving calls related to incidents of violence from Northeast Delhi,” the Delhi Police said.
Five people, including a policeman, were killed on Monday as shops were burnt and vehicles torched by people who were protesting for and against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA. Eleven police officers were injured as they were hit by stones trying to separate rival groups, the New Delhi police control room said, according to news agency Associated Press.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an urgent meeting on Tuesday at his residence, of MLAs and officials of the violence-hit areas of Delhi. Kejriwal had urged the protesters to shun violence and resolve the issues through talks.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) which had closed five Metro stations in the Northeast district on Monday, has decided to extend the closure on Tuesday too. “Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar stations on the Pink Line Metro will remain closed and trains are being terminated at Welcome Metro Station,” the DMRC said on Twitter.
A meeting was held by Union Home Minister Amit Shah late on Monday night with senior Delhi Police officers and top Home Ministry officials on the law and order situation in Delhi.
Security personnel conducted flag marches on Monday to prevent any further flare-ups and maintain peace after the area witnessed heavy stone pelting and arson. Tear gas shells were hurled to disperse the protesters who were pelting stones at each other. Both the groups were armed with guns, swords, stones, sticks, rods and petrol bombs. The policemen tried to disperse the protesters to avert a face-off between the two groups, but the mobs kept returning to start a fresh round of stone pelting.
In a widely-circulated video, a protester brandishing a gun walked up to a Delhi Police personnel. He then walked away and fired a few rounds in the air. News agency PTI quoted Delhi Police sources as saying that the man in the video had been identified and appropriate action would be taken against him.
The communal clashes pointed to lapses in law enforcement and came just a few hours before US President Donald Trump landed in Delhi. Home Ministry officials familiar with the matter said the clashes seemed to have been orchestrated to coincide with the high-profile visit, although home secretary Ajay Bhalla refused to speculate on the issue. He said the situation was under control. “Sufficient forces have been deployed; senior officers are in the field,” he told reporters.
The police were yet make any arrest for Monday’s violence.
Northeast Delhi has emerged as the latest flash point on CAA, which has triggered violent, and at times deadly, demonstrations across the country since December. Shaheen Bagh has so far been the epicentre of anti-CAA protests in the city, which has also witnessed clashes between the police and students of the Jamia Millia Islamia over the legislation.