Violence Continues In Northeast Delhi As Death Toll Keeps Climbing
Rioters set ablaze a shop in Gokalpuri in north east Delhi (Source: PTI)

Violence Continues In Northeast Delhi As Death Toll Keeps Climbing

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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 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.

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 U.S. 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.

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 in 11. At least 35 injured people were also taken to the hospital today.

"Fifty percent of those injured have sustained bullet injuries," Kumar said.

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.

  • Death toll climbed to eleven, authorities said.
  • Thirty-five injured people were also brought to the hospital, the authorities added.
  • “Fifty percent of those injured sustained bullet injuries,” a doctor at the hospital said.
  • A journalist with JK 24X7 news received a bullet injury and two NDTV reporters were beaten and punched by rioters.
Karawal Nagar of East Delhi (Source: PTI)
Karawal Nagar of East Delhi (Source: PTI)

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, armed with sticks, stones and rods, were seen thrashing people on the road in Maujpur and also venting their ire on e-rickshaws and other vehicles. Many 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 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,” 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 told PTI.

Police sources said 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.

Security personnel stand guard near a neighbourhood vandalised by rioters (Source: PTI)
Security personnel stand guard near a neighbourhood vandalised by rioters (Source: PTI)

Among those 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 Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra’s tweet, giving Delhi Police an ultimatum to clear the streets of protesters and saying people would be quiet only until U.S. President Donald Trump is in India. “Before that everything was peaceful.”

Also 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.

Karawal Nagar of East Delhi (Source: PTI)
Karawal Nagar of East Delhi (Source: PTI)

Among those injured, two people, including a minor who suffered gunshot injuries and were referred to other hospitals in the city from the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital. They were identified as Danish, 12, and 30-year-old Zulfikar, the authorities said. The others, who were brought to the hospital, were discharged while 14 were referred to either Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital or Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. Till Monday, authorities had said at least four people, including the head constable, were killed in the violence.

With Trump in the city, Delhi Police ramped up security in the area. It is being assisted by paramilitary personnel. Officials said police personnel are talking to local peace committees in a bid restore amity.

An armed battalion of Delhi Police, comprising around 1,000 personnel, is being deployed in violence-hit areas of Delhi while inter-state borders are being closely monitored, officials said on Tuesday.

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

Though one person seen brandishing a gun has been identified, police has detained him but not officially identified him. There have been no arrests yet.

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.

Mustafabad area of East Delhi (Source: PTI)
Mustafabad area of East Delhi (Source: PTI)

Five stations on the Delhi Metro’s Pink Line were closed for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in the wake of the trouble.

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

A delegation comprising members of the Jamia Coordination Committee, Jawaharlal Nehru Union Students' Union, Pinjra Tod, met senior police officials and deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia late on Monday night to raise concerns about the situation.

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