RAF conducts flag march in Delhi following violent protests over CAA

Five people including a police constable were killed and 50 injured when protests for and against CAA turned violent in northeast Delhi on Monday

Delhi police and Rapid Action Force personnel conducting a flag march in northeast Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: DCP North East Delhi/Twitter

A day after five people were killed and 50 injured in clashes during CAA-related protests in northeast Delhi, the police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) conducted a flag march in Brahmapuri area on Tuesday (February 25).

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an urgent meeting of MLAs and officials of violence-hit areas, at his residence on Tuesday.

Am very worried about the prevailing situation in certain parts of Delhi. All of us together should make all efforts to restore peace in our city. I again urge everyone to shun violence Am meeting all MLAs (of all parties) of affected areas along with senior officials in a while,” he tweeted.

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Reports said the protests in Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Bhajanpur areas of Delhi turned violent on Monday (February 24) when protesters for and against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) started pelting stones and setting vehicles and shops on fire.

At least 10 police personnel, including a deputy commissioner, were also injured in the protests.

Violence between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was reported in the Chandbagh and Bhajanpura areas of New Delhi. This is the second day of clashes in the city where Trump arrived on Monday evening.

The Delhi Metro shut five stations on its Pink Line in wake of the violence that erupted during clashes in the northeast region. “Entry & exit gates of Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar are closed. Trains will terminate at Welcome metro station,” the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) tweeted.

Meanwhile, government sources said, “Violence in some parts of Delhi appears to have been orchestrated keeping in view the ongoing visit of US President Donald Trump.”

“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,” the sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

US President Donald Trump landed at Ahmedabad in Gujarat on Monday for his first visit to India to a grand welcome by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and thousands of people who lined the streets and packed into the Motera stadium there to say “Namaste Trump”.

The first stop in the Trump visit was the Sabarmati Ashram, home to Mahatma Gandhi between 1917 and 1930 during India’s freedom struggle. From Ahmedabad, the Trumps travelled to Agra in the evening.

Protesters during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protesters and supporters of the amended citizenship law at Jafrabad in Delhi. Photo: PTI

On the other hand, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti said the government was busy with the visit of US President Donald Trump to India, while Delhi was “burning” and 8 million Kashmiris deprived of their fundamental rights.

She said the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi is remembered only during visits by foreign dignitaries to Sabarmati Ashram.

“Hi Tea & Namastey Trump while Delhi burns & 8 million Kashmiris remain deprived of fundamental rights. Gandhi Ji’s legacy remembered only at perfunctory visits to Sabarmati ashram by foreign dignitaries. His values long forgotten,” Iltija tweeted.

Iltija has been tweeting from her mother’s Twitter handle after the PDP president was taken into custody on August 5 last year following the abrogation of Article 370.

After violence erupted in northeast Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said he has spoken to Lt Governor Anil Baijal who assured that more police personnel are being sent to the affected areas.

Vehicles are set ablaze as protesters throw brick-bats during clashes between a group of anti-CAA protesters and supporters of the CAA at Jafrabad in north-east Delhi. Photo: PTI

Taking to Twitter, the chief minister said violence by anyone will not be tolerated. “I just spoke to the LG. He has assured that more police forces are being sent. Violence will not be tolerated by anyone. I request people to maintain peace. No solution will come out of violence,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

In another tweet, he said, “The death of a head constable is very sad. He was also one of us. Please give up violence. Nobody benefits from violence. All problems will be solved peacefully,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Baijal to restore law and order. “Very distressing news regarding disturbance of peace and harmony in parts of Delhi coming in. I sincerely urge Hon’ble LG n Hon’ble Union Home Minister to restore law and order n ensure that peace and harmony is maintained. Nobody should be allowed to orchestrate flagrations (sic),” Kejriwal said in his tweet.

Baijal instructed Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to maintain law and order in the city. “Instructed @DelhiPolice and @CPDelhi to ensure that law and order is maintained in North East Delhi. The situation is being closely monitored. I urge everyone to exercise restraint for maintenance of peace and harmony,” Baijal tweeted.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla later said the situation in the national capital was fully under control and sufficient forces were deployed on the ground. “The situation in Delhi is fully under control. Senior police officials are on the ground and sufficient forces are also deployed at the spot,” Bhalla said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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