By Rajnish Singh
New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) The national capital on Tuesday faced fresh violent protests over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act in north-east Delhi’s Seelampur area minutes before the Delhi Police claimed that the law and order situation was under control in the city.
It was the second violent protest in Delhi within span of 72 hours against the newly-enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, commonly known by its abbreviation CAA.
At a time when the anti-CAA stir saw thousands of protesters clashing with the police, pelting stones and damaging vehicles in the Muslim-dominated Seelampur area, a senior Delhi Police officer claimed “law and order in Delhi is under control”.
The officer, requesting anonymity, made the observation while interacting with the media to brief them about the current situation in Delhi which first faced violence on Sunday evening after demonstrators protesting against the CAA turned south Delhi’s New Friends Colony area near Jamia Millia Islamia into a battleground leaving 67 people, including students, and 31 police personnel injured.
“The law and order situation in Delhi is under control. We had registered two cases in the Jamia incident and arrested 10 persons so far. None of them are students. They are local goons. Investigation in these cases is being carried out and appropriate action as per law will be taken,” the officer had said.
The officer further said the protests were peaceful on Monday except a particular place where a small crowd turned violent in which three persons have been arrested. “Other than that there are no protests. Today, some protests are planned but appropriate arrangement has been made.”
The officer, however, requested Delhiites to maintain peace.
In Seelampur, where fresh violence erupted in the afternoon and the outnumbered police initially had fired tear gas shells and then lathicharged the crowd as the situation went out of control, the officer said a protest was scheduled at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Jafrabad in northeast Delhi but some crowds gathered at around 1 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. and they marched towards Seelampur T-point.
“They were peaceful for half-an-hour then they indulged in some violence during dispersal.”
The officer also clarified that three persons admitted themselves in city hospitals on their own claiming bullet injuries – two in Safdarjung Hospital and one in Holy Family Hospital.
He said that police have not admitted the three persons in these hospitals. “Doctors in Holy Family have confirmed that the persons admitted in Holy Family had no bullet injury. The person has been discharged from the hospital.”
“The manner and type of injuries and how it was inflicted on the two persons admitted at Safdarjung Hospital is being investigated.”
The officer, however, asserted that “Delhi Police has not fired any bullets during the whole crowd control situation on December 15 in Jamia and nearby areas.”
He further said that the Delhi Police has seized an empty bullet cartridge near the residential locality and that is being investigated.
Asked who fired the bullet, the officer said: “It is under investigation. Anybody who is involved in the incident will be arrested.”
The two violent incidents in Delhi followed the ongoing stir in the northeastern states over CAA which got the President’s nod last Thursday after Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Parliament in the recently concluded winter session.
The Act will apply to migrants from six non-Muslim communities — Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian — who have fled to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])