On the 24th of February, incidents of violent protests began spurning up in the northeast area of Delhi, and since then, the ensuing brutality between the communities has claimed the lives of 20 people, and around 170 people have been injured. The ongoing violence is a result of clashes between supporters as well as opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 which was passed way back in December.
On the night of 22nd February, a group of women, around 1000 in number, began a sit-in protest on the Seelampur-Jaffrabad road of North East Delhi. The women claimed it was done in solidarity with the bharatbandh declared by the Bhim Army. Subsequently, on 23rd February, a former member of Legislative Assembly from the BJP spoke out against the protestors of the Citizenship Amendment Act, and directed the DCP of Delhi to remove the protestors within three days, failing which he threatened to take matters into his own hands.
This incitement formed the backdrop of the unprecedented violence that engulfed the localities of Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Bhajanpura, Gokulpuri Bhajanpuri and Chand Bagh areas of Delhi. Clashes on the first day left 5 people dead, including one policeman head constable RatanLal, who despite initial reports of being a victim of stone pelting was actually killed by a fatal bullet injury which was revealed during the autopsy. Several police officials, including the Deputy Commissioner of Police suffered injuries.
The clashes continued well into the night, and resumed with full fervour the next day on the 25th, and incidents of violence claimed the lives of even more people, thus increasing the death toll to 13. Pitched battles between the two opposing factions became a norm in certain localities. Security forces were deployed in all the conflicting localities, however, they faced opposition from the conflicting factions as well as locals of the areas. Security personnel also used tear gas and lathicharge against the protestors in order to quell the violence, however, they have not been successful to the desired extent. Rapid Action Force was also deployed in the most violent areas.
- Due to the ongoing clashes, curfew has been imposed in the four localities most affected by the violence, namely, Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Chand Bagh and Karawal Nagar areas of North East Delhi. The administration also issued shoot on sight orders to the police officials in the areas where curfew was imposed.
- The Chief Minister of Delhi Mr.Arvind Kejriwal chaired an urgent meeting with the MLAs of the violent-hit areas, and subsequently, met up with the Union home minister Amit Shah, and discussed possible measures of recourse in order to tackle the ensuing violence.
- A mosque was vandalised and set on fire in the Ashok Nagar locality of Delhi, with a Hanuman flag placed on one of the minarets of the mosque amidst slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” and “Hinduonka Hindustan” (India for Hindus).
- Pleas were filed in both the Delhi high Court and the Supreme Court of India for arresting the people involved in the violence. An emergency hearing was held at midnight in the Delhi High Court and the bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup J Bhambhanion directed the police to grant safe passage to all the injured to medical institutions.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Delhi violence full coverage: 20 dead in clashes, stone pelting in northeast Delhi https://indianexpress.com/article/india/delhi-violence-full-coverage-dead-clashes-stone-pelting-northeast-delhi-police-govt-6287264/ (last visited 26th February 2020, 7:23 PM)