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Violence Refuses to End in Delhi

In Nation, News
February 25, 2020



Even as Home Minister Amit Shah met Delhi LG Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss steps to end violence in Delhi”s northeast, there were fresh reports coming in of stone pelting from Maujpur, Jaffrabad and Kardampuri among others.

Reports of violence and arson continue to trickle in from the affected areas as Delhi police confirmed that seven people, including a police head constable, have died in the rioting that has continued sporadically across several localities since Saturday.

Rioters used stones, sticks and country-made firearms as pro and anti-CAA protesters clashed. Injured person continue to come in at the GTB hospital in East Delhi area, where violence started on Sunday.

A person from Vijay park area whose brother was hit by a bullet, told IANS that common people have been the worst hit. Vijay park area is located in the middle of Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar where riots are happening. The bullet victim was brought to the emergency ward earlier in the day. The bullet hit his left collarbone.

“People are coming from both areas and hitting us. We have nothing to do with pro- or anti-CAA protest but we are suffering the most. Our area was peaceful but people came from Kardam Puri, Loni and Gokulpuri with guns and batons and started open fire and beating people. I have women in my family. We all are scared and sleepless since last two days.”

The family runs a small plywood business in Ghonda area. There is one brother and six sisters. In Maujpur, the situation worsened around 1.55 p.m., following stone pelting between opposing groups, miscreants resorted to arson by setting fire to vehicles.

In Kabir Nagar, tension set in after some people fired shots from country-made firearms. Meanwhile, amid fresh reports of violence, gunshots were heard in Kardampuri, leaving a boy injured.

In Jaffrabad too, panic could be felt in the air as stone pelting began afresh. Despite the best efforts of the police present on the spot, the stone pelting did not subside. Appeals from a place of worship, to disperse, had no effect on the stone-pelters.

Northeast Delhi continued to teeter on the edge, as incidents of violence continued to flare up after an overnight lull. Tuesday morning saw rioters pick from where they had left off on Monday night, with several incidents of violence and stone pelting reported from interiors of localities such as Jaffarabad, Brahmapuri which adjoining Maujpur.

At Jaffarabad metro station, a large number of people carrying tri-colour and sticks in hands gathered to protest against the citizenship amendment law. They tried to break the CCTV cameras installed alongside the roads. The men protesters are trying to disconnect the CCTV cameras while women protesters are on a sit-in just below the Metro station.

East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday visited the Max hospital at Patparganj to meet DCP Shahadra Amit Sharma, ACP Anuj Jain and head constable Yashpal who were injured in the clashes on Monday. Death toll in the last two days have reached 7, including a police man.

“Nothing can be solved through violence. The solution can only come through dialogue. The government is ready for a discussion and clear every doubt,” said Gambhir after meeting the injured cops.

Even as heavy deployment of police and security forces in the affected areas of Maujpur, Babarpur, Jaffrabad, Gokulpuri, Brijpuri, incidents of stone-pelting have been reported from the interior areas of different localities. Unruly mobs also attempted to set fire to two-wheelers at certain places.

In a bid to clamp down further violence, the police has restricted all unnecessary movements in these areas, with barricades set up on the main roads. The movement of pedestrians along with vehicles on the roads has also been regulated. Simultaneously, the armed personnel of the Delhi Police Rapid Action Force and paramilitary forces have been deployed in large numbers on both sides of the road.

For security reasons, the Delhi Police closed the metro stations in the violence-prone areas. The entrance and exit gates of Jaffarabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar metro stations have been closed. These areas witnessed violence and arson on Monday. These metro stations have been closed so that the unruly elements from outside do not enter here.

Even as the police struggle to contain the violence that is sporadically taking place in an apparently synchronised manner, the media is feeling the heat of the crowds.

Television camera crew, photographers and journalists are being roughed up by the crowds on the streets. Rioters are questioning anyone holding a mobile phone and the mobile phones being checked for any incriminating pictures that are deleted on the spot.