CAA: Violence in Delhi as students, Opposition step up protests

Angry protesters demanding scrapping of the amended Citizenship Act pelted stones at police personnel, torched several motor bikes and vandalised two police booths as well as three buses in Northeast Delhi’s Seelampur on Tuesday, leaving 21 people injured in fresh violence in the city.

The national capital continued to reel under swirling agitation against the alleged ‘divisive’ law with thousands of students hitting 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.

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.

The home ministry officials are said to have expressed their unhappiness over the two incidents happening within just three days, an official said, adding they asked the Delhi Police brass to strengthen intelligence gathering mechanism so that such incidents do not occur in future.

The protest at Northeast Delhi’s Seelampur turned violent when police stopped them from moving ahead. The crowd clashed with the police, pelted stones at them and damaged vehicles, including a school bus which had a driver and student. Two bikes of traffic police were allegedly burnt by the demonstrators, two police booths in the area vandalised and CCTV cameras taken away.

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.

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, 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.

In Uttar Pradesh, 18 FIRs were lodged and 113 persons detained for trying to vitiate atmosphere “by their posts through different mediums of social media”.

Two University of Madras students who protested allegedly were taken in police custody. The students alleged that police demanded protests be stopped for their release. Over 60 students are resisting police demand inside the University campus.

Nine students were detained in Bengaluru for protesting against CAA and were released hours later. “We were forced by the police to sign a bond that we would not take part in any protest henceforth but we denied doing so,” said a student who was released after she was detained for three-and-ahalf hours at SJ Park police station in Bengaluru.

Students from Osmania University and Maulana Azad National Urdu University squatted in front of the Arts College and raised slogans like ‘We want Justice’, ‘Want Democracy, Not Dictatorship’, among others.

In Gujarat, several people including a large number of students staged a silent protest at Gandhi Ashram in Gandhinagar, in solidarity with Jamia students.

The dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala saw stone-pelting on state buses and road blockades were reported from across the state. Over 350 people were arrested as a precautionary measure.

Shops were forced shut. A three year-old child travelling with her family was injured when activists hurled stones at their car in Kannur.

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