A minimum of five people was killed and about 90 were injured in the fracas in Delhi during protests due to a new citizenship law, according to a senior hospital official, Reuters reported.
One of the worst protest seen in Delhi
“Some of the people brought in had gunshot wounds,” Dr. Rajesh Kalra, additional medical superintendent at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, said after Monday’s clashes.
The clashes broke out between thousands protesting in favor of and against the new citizenship law. Police used tear gas and smoke grenades; however, struggled to disband the stone-throwing crowds.
One police constable also lost his life in the violence that erupted just before the maiden visit of the U.S. President Donald Trump to the capital city. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are poised to meet for talks on Tuesday at a venue which is situated few miles away from the spot where clashes happened.
On Tuesday, tensions in some parts of the city were high with schools remaining shut-in few areas, due to news reports of fresh clashes. At least five metro stations in the city were closed. The clashes that occurred on Monday one of the worst seen in Delhi since the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) started in early December. India’s capital has become the epicenter of protests against the law, which eases the way of non-Muslims from three neighboring Muslim-dominated countries to acquire Indian citizenship.
This has resulted in allegations that Modi along with his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are sabotaging secular traditions of India. The BJP is refusing any bias against India’s more than 180 million-strong Muslim minority; however, objectors have been doing protests, rallies and camping out in different parts of New Delhi for about two months.
“Go ahead and throw stones”
The clashes elongated over a near kilometer long road and lasted from early afternoon until well into the evening, registering injuries of 90 people. On Monday, police imposed an emergency law prohibiting any assemblage in the violence-hit areas.
The protesters seemed to be divided with religious lines, and some continuously hailed Hindu god Ram while throwing stones at the broadly Muslim group opposed to the new law.
A Reuters witness observed at least one Muslim man and a burqa-clad woman beaten by dozens of pro-law protesters with iron rods and sticks. Earlier on Monday, Yogendra Yadav, the local politician described the violence as “communal” and requested police to intervene.
“Go ahead and throw stones,” one policeman screamed to protesters supporting the law, during one of the running battles.
“We are in support of the CAA. If they want to protest, they should go somewhere else,” said a protester who gave his name as Amit.
Kishan Reddy, India’s junior home minister said the violence was a “conspiracy to shame India globally” during Trump’s visit.
“We have deployed additional forces, and we will do everything to bring law and order under control,” he told ANI (Reuters’ partner).
In Gujarat, Trump addressed a gathering of over 100,000 people that “India is a country that proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights, the rule of law, and the dignity of every human being”.
Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]