An illegal factory has come under suspicion for supplying acid during the Delhi riots, which pitted opponents and defenders of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act against each other last week.
According to Republic TV, storage tanks containing 500 litres of acid have been found in the factory, labelled “Ganga Jal (Holy water of the Ganges)” in the heavily affected Shiv Vihar neighbourhood. The owner of the factory, Feroz Khan, fled when riots broke out in Delhi on 24 February, locals claim.
The factory was operating next to a school in a residential area and the smoke emanating from the factory had caused nearby residents problems. The locals claim that despite several complaints, no action was taken regarding the matter.
It is speculated that the rioters had hoarded the acid from the illegal factory and used it in the three consecutive days of violence in Delhi's Mustafabad, Chand Bagh, Karawal Nagar and Yamuna Vihar neighbourhoods.
Several small packets of acid were also found in the property of Aam Admi Party councilor Tahir Hussain along with other materials like Molotov cocktails and stones.
Delhi turned into a battlefield last week when supporters of the controversial Citizenship law and opponents of the legislation clashed with each other, torching property, vandalising, and rioting in several areas of northeast Delhi. The riots have left widespread damage to public and private property, and 45 lives have been claimed as of today. The death toll is constantly rising, with critical patients succumbing to their injuries in hospitals.
The Delhi police have registered 254 First Information Reports (FIR) and detained 903 persons in connection to the Delhi violence.
Protests have gripped India since the passage of the controversial Ctizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by the federal government to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who had entered India before 2015 and were fleeing religious persecution. The law, however, excludes Muslims, which has led to widespread outrage.