The United States on Tuesday issued an advisory for its citizens in Delhi and asked them to "exercise caution" in view of violent clashes over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA. In the advisory issued by the US Embassy, the Americans have been advised to avoid visiting the areas where violent protests are being held.
What the advisory says
"US citizens in India should exercise caution in light of violent demonstrations in Northeast Delhi and avoid all areas with demonstrations. It is important that you monitor local media outlets for updates on demonstrations, road and metro closures, and possible curfews," the advisory read.
The advisory has come a day after US President Donald Trump's first state visit to India. Trump, who was in Delhi when the clashes broke out, was even asked about the violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act during his press conference on Tuesday. He, however, said the issue was not discussed during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that it was up to India to decide on the citizenship act.
"I heard about the individual attacks (in Delhi) but I did not discuss it. It is up to India," Trump told reporters in Delhi on Tuesday.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had said that the violence in Delhi was planned in view of Trump's India visit to dent the image of the Narendra Modi government. However, the role of the ruling party leaders like Kapil Mishra and Abhay Verma is under scanner as Opposition parties have blamed their hate speeches for inciting the violence.
Besides the US, Russia and France have also asked their citizens in Delhi to be careful and avoid large gatherings in the city.
At least 23 people, including civilians and a policeman, have been killed so far and over 200 have sustained injuries in unprecedented violence in northeast Delhi. The violence started on Sunday after pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters started pelting stones at each other. The situation went out of hand on Monday and five people, including Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal, were killed as the violence turned communal.
The situation worsened on Tuesday as rioters from both sides continued to roam streets unchecked, setting vehicles and houses on fire, vandalizing public property and even threatening people. Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Delhi CM Kejriwal to take stock of the prevailing situation. Shah appealed for calm and assured that adequate police force will be deployed on the ground to restore law and order.
On Wednesday, Delhi High Court, while hearing a plea seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders for their hate speeches, pulled up the police and said that it won't allow another 1984-type incident in the national capital. The High Court saw the videos of speeches by BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma and directed Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to file FIRs against them.