Political leaders across party lines appealed for calm on Monday as groups in favour of and against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) clashed for the second day in northeast Delhi. Four people, including a police constable, were killed in the violence.
At least 37 police personnel, including the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Shahdara, were injured. All them were taken to GTB hospital. Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mobs after they torched several vehicles and a fire tender in Jaffrabad and Maujpur. Prohibitory order – Section 144 of CrPC – has been imposed in the affected areas to prevent gatherings. (Follow Delhi Maujpur-Babarpur violence Live Updates)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Home Minister Amit Shah to restore law and order in the area. “Very distressing news regarding disturbance of peace and harmony in parts of Delhi coming in. I sincerely urge Hon’ble LG n Hon’ble Union Home Minister to restore law and order n ensure that peace and harmony are maintained. Nobody should be allowed to orchestrate flagrations,” he tweeted.
Kejriwal also condoled the death of a head police constable who lost his life in the violence.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia also appealed for peace, saying that violence is like a fire which affects everyone and can never be compensated for. “I’ve been in Delhi since three decades. I have never been afraid of living in this city, what has happened now? Who are these people setting the city ablaze? Today I feel very sad and ashamed. This is our Delhi, country’s capital. We need to save this,” he said in a tweet.
Congress leader Ajay Maken told CM Kejriwal to not appear “helpless” and take immediate steps to restore normalcy. In a series of tweets, Maken suggested that Kejriwal needed to take immediate steps, such as establishing a helpline and calling for an all-party meet to tackle the situation.
“Take a lead and don’t sit back blaming others. Being helpless would further erode much-needed credibility of our democratic institutions to protect violence against the innocent citizens,” the Congress leader said.
Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra appealed to groups to exercise restraint and added that violence is not the solution to anything. Mishra’s appeal came a day after he led a pro-CAA protest in Maujpur area of northeast Delhi. Violence broke out in the area on Sunday, shortly after he left.
Taking to Twitter, Mishra said, “I appeal to everyone that violence is not the solution to anything. It is for everyone’s good that brotherhood is maintained in Delhi. Be it CAA supporters or those against it, violence should stop.”
However, Mishra reiterated his demand for the removal of anti-CAA protesters blocking the road in Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh.
“Anti-CAA protesters are rioting in Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Karawal Nagar, Maujpur, Babarpur, and Jaffrabad. Petrol pumps, houses, temples, and vehicles have been pelted with stones and set ablaze. This is a dangerous situation. Police should forcefully remove them from the roads of Chand Bagh and Jaffrabad. I appeal to the people to maintain calm,” he said.
AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi accused Mishra of inciting violence in the area and called for his immediate arrest.
Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said, “These riots were a result of incitement by an ex-MLA and BJP leader. Now there is clear evidence of police involvement. The ex-MLA should be arrested immediately, urgent steps should be taken to control the violence. Otherwise, it’ll spread.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “The violence today in Delhi is disturbing & must be unequivocally condemned. Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified. I urge the citizens of Delhi to show restraint, compassion & understanding no matter what the provocation.”
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also appealed for peace, saying only the common man and the nation suffer losses due to violence.
“Nation’s capital Delhi witnessed violence throughout the day. Only and only the common people and the country bear the losses due to violence. We all are responsible to stop this. Mahatma Gandhi’s country is peaceful. I appeal to the people of Delhi to maintain peace and urge the Congress party workers to keep working for peace and harmony,” she said.
Meanwhile, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for their absence. “As the situation in national capital remains tense, where are the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister? Both are missing. Incompetence or complicity?” he tweeted.
“The hate speeches by union ministers, MPs and top ruling party leaders in Delhi inciting hate and violence in a call to arms – “Goli Maaron…” – are responsible for the collapse in law and order that we see today,” he added.
The prime minister and Shah were in Ahmedabad to attend the ‘Namaste Trump’ event.
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