Violence in Delhi’s Seelampur, silent protests in other parts against CAA
A protest in Delhi’s Seelampur turned violent when police stopped them from moving ahead. Agitated crowd pelted stones at police, damaged vehicles including a school bus and vandalised police booths
The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continued in several areas of the national capital on Tuesday, primarily in Muslim-dominated localities of Old Delhi, Jamia Nagar and Seelampur where a protest march turned violent as some people pelted stones at the police and vandalised several vehicles.
The protest in North East Delhi’s Seelampur-Jafrabad area turned violent when police stopped them from moving ahead. The agitated crowd clashed with police, pelted stones at police personnel and damaged vehicles, including a school bus which had a driver and student.
They said two bikes of traffic cops were burnt by the demonstrators, adding two police booths in the area was vandalised and CCTV cameras installed there were taken away by the mob.
Police said two FIRs have been registered at Seelampur and Jafrabad police stations in connection with the incident.
The clashes erupted two days after violence broke out during a protest in the New Friends area in South Delhi near Jamia Millia Islamia.
Police said there were initially small groups of people who started the protest against the citizenship law and they went in lanes and by-lanes of Seelampur.
By the time they came on the Jafrabad main road, there were almost 3,000 people and the police were escorting them.
“When they started dispersing, suddenly stones were hurled. We made several requests to them not to pelt stones, but they did not relent, forcing us to use tear gas to disperse them,” said a police official.
Gates of seven metro stations were closed in the wake of the protest, and five of them were reopened after some time. Traffic was also diverted from the area.
Meanwhile, thousands of students hit the streets near the Jamia Millia Islamia, where a violent protest had occurred on Sunday, and elsewhere for what they called “protecting the soul of India”.
Twenty-one people, including 12 policemen and six civilians, were injured in the clashes in Seelampur which continued for one-and-half hours, while five persons have been detained, according to police.
Police said they used tear gas shells to disperse the mob but denied that there was any baton charge on protesters.
In Old Delhi, thousands of people gathered outside the historic Jama Masjid in the evening to hold a peaceful protest against the citizenship act. They were holding placards and raising slogans. The protesters dispersed after a few hours.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik briefed Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and other senior officials of the ministry on the violence at Jamia Milia University and Seelampur during anti-CAA protests and the prevailing situation in the national capital, officials said.
Meanwhile, 10 people with criminal background have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the violence near Jamia Millia Islamia University on Sunday, police said, adding none of them were students.
A section of Delhi University (DU) students also protested against the amended citizenship law and condemned the police crackdown on Jamia Millia students.
The protest was organised by the Left-backed All India Students’ Association and women’s collective Pinjra Tod, who claimed that Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists targeted “women wearing hijab”.
According to a member of Pinjra Tod, there were around 400 students who participated in the anti-CAA protest and they held a march from the DU arts faculty to the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station.
Police had placed barricades between the protesters from Pinjra Tod and the ABVP, which was holding a demonstration in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, she said.
“The ABVP was deliberately targeting Muslim students. Women in hijab and men with beards were targeted in the protest against the Citizenship Act.
“Two female students and a male student filed complaints at the Maurice Nagar police station,” the Pinjra Tod’s member said.
On Monday, students from the political science and the history departments of DU had boycotted exams in solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim University.
Hundreds of concerned citizens, including women, on Tuesday evening held silent protest at Shaheedi Park near press area on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. The protesters were holding placards decrying CAA and brutal police action on university students.
In Ambedkar University too, the students organised protest meetings against CAA and in support of students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.
On Sunday, scores of people, including Jamia students and policemen, were injured, four DTC buses were set afire and over 100 private vehicles were damaged when protesters opposing the amended Citizenship Act clashed with police near New Friends Colony.