NEW DELHI :
Unprecedented violence continued to rock Delhi on Tuesday with the death toll touching at least 13, while 150 were injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act groups for the third consecutive day.
Delhi Police and the Union home ministry have pulled out all stops to contain the violence that continued even as US President Donald Trump met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital.
Fresh rounds of stone pelting and arson were also reported from Bhajanpura, Ashok Nagar and Karawal Nagar. The mobs attacked police personnel and journalists. A section of protesters had also set ablaze shops and vandalized property across Chandbagh, Maujpur-Babarpur, Bhajanpura and Gokulpuri on Monday.
The injured were taken to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where medical superintendent Sunil Kumar confirmed that at least six people had been brought dead on Tuesday, while four deaths had been reported on Monday. As many as 50% of those injured had sustained gunshot wounds, according to hospital authorities.
The police on Tuesday arrested a protester, Mohammad Shahrukh, who had on Monday fired several rounds indiscriminately.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed across north-east Delhi, while nearly 70 companies of central paramilitary troops have been deployed across the area, in addition to Delhi Police personnel.
Prohibitory orders were also imposed in the vicinity of the Delhi Police headquarters. All routes leading to central Delhi, where Trump and Modi met on Tuesday, had also been sanitized, with police setting up pickets at arterial intersections. The Delhi Metro Rail Corp. sealed all Metro stations leading to the violence-affected areas.
Union home minister Amit Shah met with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Congress leader Subhash Chopra, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Manoj Tiwari and Rambir Singh Bidhuri to review the situation.
“We all want that this violence to stop. No one will benefit if violence increases. The home minister held a meeting right now. Rising above party politics, everyone decided that all possible steps will be taken to ensure peace. They have assured that adequate police personnel will be deployed," Kejriwal said after the meeting.
Shah ordered a strict vigil at the city’s borders with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and asked political parties to avoid provocative statements that could potentially instigate crowds, the home ministry said. “Amit Shah also spoke of the need to reactivate local peace committees with representatives of all sections of society, religions, and eminent local persons. He has urged political parties to ask local representatives to hold meetings in sensitive areas and instructed senior police officers to visit vulnerable police stations at the earliest," it said. “Special police officers will also be deployed in affected areas."
“The situation is being very closely monitored. Paramilitary troops have held flag marches in the areas," said a home ministry official.
Human rights activist Harsh Mander filed a writ petition before the Delhi high court on Tuesday seeking the setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to inquire into the incident of violence in north-east Delhi, compensating the next of kin of the dead, and the injured, besides registering first information reports against BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for inciting violence. The division bench comprising Justices G.S. Sistani and Anup Jairam Bhambani will hear the matter on Wednesday.
Pretika Khanna and Prathma Sharma contributed to this story.