At least six civilians and a Delhi Police constable were killed as clashes broke out in northeast Delhi for the second consecutive day. Protesters supporting the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and those against it pelted stones at each other. Several people from both sides were injured in the clashes. At least 37 police personnel, including the DCP of Shahdara, also sustained injuries during the violence.
According to the government sources, the violence in Maujpur, Babarpur and other parts of Delhi appeared to be "orchestrated" in view of US President Donald Trump's visit. Trump, along with his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, is on a two-day state visit to India from February 24 to 25.
Although the government sources didn't reveal who could be behind the violence, which has claimed the lives of three civilians and a policeman so far. "The violence in some parts of Delhi appears to be orchestrated so that those involved in it get wide publicity as US President Donald Trump is currently visiting India," news agency PTI quoted the sources as saying.
Killing of Delhi Police head constable a 'ploy'
The ruling BJP also claimed that the killing of Delhi police head constable was a "ploy" to embarrass India during Trump's visit. Expressing her "shock" over the death of the policeman, BJP MP and spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said that the clashes in Delhi reminded her of the massacre of Sikhs in Chattisinghpura in 2000 during the then US president Bill Clinton's India visit.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik said that he was closely monitoring the situation and several senior officers were at the spot to restore calm. According to reports, the police have detained a 33-year-old man identified as Shahrukh for allegedly firing several rounds in North-East Delhi's Maujpur.
Reacting to the incident, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy condemned the killing of the policeman and said that violent protests can't be accepted in a democratic country.
Congress demands Amit Shah's resignation
Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress has trained its guns at the Narendra Modi government and demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah over the violence in the national capital. The Congress party also slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for having "shaken off the responsibility". Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that the violence can't be justified and urged the people of Delhi to show restraint.
India has been in the grasp of nation-wide protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for months. The act grants Indian citizenship to the non-Muslims of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who came to India before 2015.
The critics argue that giving citizenship on the basis of religion was against the constitutional framework of the country and that it was part of the ruling party's Hindutva agenda. The government, however, says that the act has nothing to do with the Indian Muslims, therefore, it won't be revoked.