Amid spiralling tensions in the national capital over the CAA, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy labelled the recent outburst as "orchestrated conspiracy", aimed at tarnishing India's image while the US President is here on a visit. In a massive escalation of tension in the area, protesters resorted to violence, torching at least two houses and a fire tender in the Jaffrabad and Maujpur areas.
A head constable was killed in the clashes that broke out between pro- and anti-CAA groups after tension escalated in northeast Delhi on Monday afternoon. A deputy commissioner of police injured in the clash has been hospitalised. A petrol pump was also set ablaze in North-East Delhi's Bhajanpura area.
"Violence in North-East Delhi is an orchestrated conspiracy with an eye on US President 's visit to India. It is aimed to destroy the country's image on the world stage. I condemn it," Reddy said. He also trained guns at opposition parties who oppose CAA, questioning Congress and other parties over the responsibility for the "martyred" constable.
Delhi: A clash broke out between two groups in Maujpur area, today. Ved Prakash Surya DCP (North-East) says, "We have spoken to both sides, now the situation is calm. We are continuously speaking to people, now the situation is under control". pic.twitter.com/kSPSFUYCHQ— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2020
US President Donald Trump is in India for a two-day visit. He addressed an event in Ahmedabad alongside PM Modi on Monday afternoon after which he visited the Taj Mahal in Agra along with his family in the evening. The leader has since departed for the national capital where bilateral talks will be held on Tuesday.
G Kishan Reddy further stated that the Modi government respects the Constitutional right to protest but incidents of violence and arson will not be tolerated. "The government hasn't taken any action against protesters in the last two months. However, it won't tolerate any form of violence, stone pelting, or arson. We will take strict action against those responsible."
The junior home minister also informed that the ministry has ordered Delhi Police to take strict action against those involved in the killing of the police personnel, stone-pelting and setting fire to the property. He also said that the government has deployed additional forces in Delhi to maintain order. "Our prime responsibility is to maintain law and order in Delhi," Reddy held.
G Kishan Redyy's remarks come after cops imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the affected areas of the North East district and vowed to take "strict action against miscreants and anti-social elements". ANI quoted a police officer saying, "Some incidents of violence and arson have been reported in the areas of North East District, particularly in the areas of Maujpur, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh and Dayalpur. It is appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony and not to believe in any false rumors."
Police fired tear gas shells and also resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters. According to officials, a fire tender was damaged by the protesters after it responded to a fire call in the area on Monday. Meanwhile, the Delhi Metro closed entry and exit at the Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur stations.
(With ANI inputs)