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February 25, 2020

Indian cop among four killed in anti-CAA protests

Top Story

February 25, 2020

NEW DELHI: Fresh violence erupted in the northeast of New Delhi on Monday, as US President Donald Trump kicked off his two-day trip in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat.

A head constable was among four people killed and at least 50 others, including several paramilitary and Delhi Police personnel, were injured as violence spiraled over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 in northeast Delhi, turning it into a battlefield on Monday, reports the international media. Police used tear gas and smoke grenades to disperse the crowds.

Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (a government order which prohibits assembly of more than four people in public places) at 10 locations in the northeast district of Delhi.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) closed the entry and exit gates of Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur stations - the areas affected by violence. Trains will not be halting at these stations.

Clashes in the area were triggered on Sunday after a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) issued an ultimatum to police to remove the anti-citizenship sit-ins.

"BJP leader Kapil Mishra's men yesterday came to Jaffrabad and incited people and threatened people who are protesting the citizenship law. Police were there but did nothing," said a Delhi-based activist Nadeem Khan, who visited Jaffrabad.

"Members of various right-wing organisations, brought from various places, threw stones on people’s homes and beat locals. It's clearly an organised, preplanned attack."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Very distressing news regarding disturbance of peace and harmony in parts of Delhi coming in." He urged the federal home minister to "restore law and order" and ensure "peace and harmony is maintained".

In the latest eruption of violence at protests on Sunday, hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.

On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administrative official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.

The recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases path for non-Muslims from neighbouring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of, sometimes violent, protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi's administration is undermining India's secular traditions.

Meanwhile, an Indian minister Monday said anti-nationals or those who raised pro-Pakistan slogans should be shot at sight.

The development comes a few days after an Indian protester raised "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans at an anti-CAA rally.

Karnataka agriculture minister BC Patel said a law should be passed in India which allowed people raising pro-Pakistan slogans to be shot on sight, saying that it was "much needed".

He said those who "speak ill of India" should also be shot.

"The Centre must promulgate a law that enables authorities to shoot those who do anything that is seen as anti-national and chant pro-Pakistan slogans," he stated.

Saying that the protesters were "enjoying food, water and air in India", he called upon Indian Prime Minister Modi to introduce a stringent law for people who raised anti-India slogans.

"In China, people are scared to talk against their country. I request PM Modi to bring in a tough law to deal with traitors," said Patel.

A couple of days ago, an Indian girl named Amulya Leona shouted "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans at an anti-CAA rally in Bengaluru.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi was also present at the rally. Soon afterward, police slapped a sedition charge on Leona and sent her to prison on a 14-day remand. A couple of hours later, miscreants pelted stones at her house, damaging the windows.

It was reported that the judicial magistrate denied her bail. "We have registered a suo motu case under Section 124A (sedition), 153A and B (promoting enmity between different groups and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration). Once formalities are completed, we will produce Amulya before judicial magistrate," said DCP Bengaluru (West) B Ramesh, according to the publication.