Tension gripped various parts of India, with segments of the capital Delhi becoming the epicentre of clashes on 23 February after protest organisers called for demonstrations against the nation's contentious new Citizenship Law.
Reports of rioting, arson, property damage, and police baton-charges emerged from parts of northeast Delhi, including Dayalpur, adjoining Karawa Nagar, Maujpur and south Delhi’s Hauz Rani near Malviya Nagar after demonstrators marched to protest against Citizenship Law.
At least nine vehicles and an eatery were torched by hooligans in Delhi’s Karawal Nagar area in the late hours of Sunday. The mob pelted the police with stones as they attempted to control the situation, and stopped the flow of traffic, eventually setting vehicles alight.
Police used tear gas shells and resorted to baton-charges to control the situation, but the rampage continued as the mob threw stones at the windows of residential buildings and police. Pro- and anti-citizenship law protesters are now blaming each other for the riots.
Maujpur yamuna paar me danga ho gya hai . As confirmed by ground .— CAA / NRC Protest Info. (@NrcProtest) February 23, 2020
Muslim ko Target kr kr ke maar rahe h... Unke gharon ko target kr rahe h.
Videos are coming from there .... Please of someone finds it wrong please dm .
2KM from Protest site pic.twitter.com/XX4fHMDBFr
#SOS Jaffarabad— Khushboo khan (@Khushbookhan_) February 23, 2020
Police has covered Protest Site of #Jaffarabad Metro Station from all Sides. Stones and Broken Bricks have been brought at Maujpur, in two tractor trollies which is just 500 metres away from Protest Site.
Any untoward incident can happen.
Media Help needed!! pic.twitter.com/zgCMHiqjEc
In Delhi’s Hauz Rani neighbourhood, near Malviya Nagar metro station, protesters attempted to block the arterial road providing access to Max hospital. A scuffle broke out between police and protesters after the police tried to remove the protesters from the main road, where traffic had ground to a halt. Several were injured and later rushed to Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital.
In videos that have emerged on social media, the victims are alleging police brutality and insisting the protests were peaceful.
MUST WATCH,— M S KHAN (@ji_salmankhan) February 24, 2020
Exclusive CCTV footage coming from HAUZ RANI .
पुलिस शातिराना तरीके से प्रदर्शनकारियों पर हमले बोल रही है… pic.twitter.com/RhSIxgUGFl
WATCH : #HauzRani— அடியான்_இப்ராஹிம் (@MohamedHalithM2) February 24, 2020
Thread with few First Hand Accounts from Madan mohan malvia hospital.
In Video : A elderly women got beaten up with lathis by Dalli Police at Hauz Rani #Jafrabad Welcome To INDIA https://t.co/cnvXB2vvw5 pic.twitter.com/x5lr0nrcPp
In northeast Delhi’s Jaffrabad neighbourhood, the situation worsened after 1,000 people blocked an arterial road to stage a sit-in protest, inspired by Shaheen Bagh, amid heavy police deployment. Chaos erupted when supporters of the Citizenship Law arrived and the groups pelted each other with rocks.
Following the clashes, entry and exits gates of the Jaffrabad, as well as Maujpur-Babarpur metro stations, have been closed due to intensified anti and pro-CAA group clashes.
In Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, incidents of vandalism, arson and stone-pelting were reported on Sunday afternoon, a few hours away from Agra city where Donald Trump is set to visit on Monday. The police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, which had turned to vandalism. Several police vehicles and a shop were torched. Clashes erupted after police tried to remove a women protesting on Mohamed Ali Road, which leads to the Kotwali police station, since Saturday.
WATCH : ALIGARH— Shaheen Bagh Official (@ShaheenBagh_) February 23, 2020
After Lathi Charged by @Uppolice on women protesters of UPPAR COURT, ALIGARH
NOW RAF is shooting with TEAR GAS SHELLS.
Here @DelhiPolice sheild Pro-CAA stone Pelter & in UP @Uppolice attacking Anti CAA women protesters with Batons & Tear Gas Shells. pic.twitter.com/KJ4qZKWpGt
The controversial Citizenship Law Act grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before 2015. Protesters allege the law is discriminatory on religious grounds and violates the secular nature of the Indian Constitution - something the government strongly denies.