Delhi is at the centre of protests across the country running on the new citizenship law. The unrest in Delhi also spread allegedly due to a clash between opponents and supporters of the law. Women say that they are on the road to save the Constitution and until this law is returned their protest will continue in this way. Women say that they love India very much and oppose giving citizenship in the country on the basis of religion.
The violence in Delhi is being called the worst in decades. The number of people who died in the violence of Delhi which has been going on for the last four days has reached 42, and over 200 are injured. Especially in the capital Delhi, the situation remains very sensitive as there was a clash between the two groups of protesters in many areas of the city, which has also led to violence.
Actually the matter started deteriorating from Sunday, February 23. On Saturday, February 22, some women tried to open a new front of protest against the citizenship law on the lines of Shaheen Bagh under the metro station in Jaffrabad in Delhi. The police asked the women not to do so but they did not agree. Gradually, more people started gathering there and by night, paramilitary forces were deployed in northeast Delhi.
On Sunday itself, violence erupted between protesters and police during a protest against the citizenship law. There was also stone-pelting and arson where police vehicles were damaged. Some policemen and protesters were also injured. By evening, the police took out a flag march to restore peace in the entire area, but on Monday morning, the situation deteriorated again. The clashes turned violent, stones were thrown and many vehicles and shops were set on fire.
Despite being adamant about the government’s decision to implement the citizenship law, opposition to the law has not stopped. But there is no softening from the central government either. It has to be seen what turn the situation takes in the coming times. Therefore, restoring peace in the entire city remains the priority of the Delhi Police. But it remains to be seen whether the police identify the instigators and take any action against them.
The police have used tear gas, palettes and smoke grenades to drive away from the crowd, but the police themselves have also faced stone-pelting. On Wednesday, some riot-hit areas were seen empty, an eyewitness has confirmed the deployment of a large number of paramilitary forces and police there.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the people of Delhi to maintain peace and asked them to restore peace and normal life as soon as possible.
At least two mosques were also targeted and set on fire during the riots. The injured include people from both Hindu and Muslim communities. In a significant intervention in the violence, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Police to immediately register an FIR on the provocative speeches of the leaders who were exposed before the riots broke out.
The court specifically referred to the speeches of these four BJP leaders – Union Minister Anurag Thakur, MP Pravesh Verma, MLA Abhay Verma and former MLA Kapil Mishra. When Delhi Police officer and Central Government lawyer Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that he had not heard these speeches, the excerpts of these four speeches were shown in the court on the orders of Justice Muralidhar.
Taking a dig at the Delhi Police, Justice Muralidhar said, “This is really worrying… I am amazed at the condition of the Delhi Police.” The hearing was being held on the petition of activist Harsh Mander in which he has appealed to the High Court for an independent inquiry to know the truth of these riots. After giving directions, the hearing was adjourned till February 27.
India’s Home Minister Amit Shah held a series of meetings on Wednesday to take stock of the law and order the situation and control the poor condition. The responsibility of the security system in Delhi rests with the Union Home Ministry. He has asked the leaders to refrain from making inflammatory statements. The Home Ministry has also appointed a special commissioner of Delhi Police to control the situation.
Despite the implementation of Section 144, clashes continued in areas such as Bhajanpura, Gokulpuri, Chand Bagh, Karaval Nagar, Vijay Park, Yamuna Vihar, Jaffrabad, Khajuri Khas. The Delhi Police said 106 people have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement in the violence and 48 FIRs registered.