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India: 47 deaths confirmed in Delhi in anti-Muslim violence

3rd Mar 2020
India: 47 deaths confirmed in Delhi in anti-Muslim violence

By Cheena Kapoor


NEW DELHI, India (AA): The death toll from recent anti-Muslim violence in Delhi reached 47 Monday after four more bodies were fished out from drains and brought to a hospital. 350 people have been injured in the violence.

Hundreds of Muslim homes, businesses, cars, mosques, madrassas were attacked, many torched.

The violence began after pro-Hindu Nationalist ruling party BJP supporters attacked peaceful protesters against clashes, controversial citizenship law,  after an inflammatory speech by Kapil Mishra, a leader of the BJP.

He had given the police an ultimatum to clear those protesting the citizenship law failing which, he said, people would hit the streets.

In a video that has gone viral, one member of a Hindu mob is seen scaling the minaret of a mosque in Ashok Nakar neighborhood and placing a Hindu religious flag of Hanuman and flag of India.

While the situation in parts of northeast Delhi remained peaceful on Sunday, tensions prevailed due to the heavy deployment of paramilitary forces in all major parts of the riot-hit district.

Meanwhile, both the houses of parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, were adjourned until Tuesday after an uproar on Delhi violence.

The houses met for a debate on the second part of the budget session, but opposition leaders, who have been demanding the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah over the violence, announced a protest in the legislatures.

The Indian Supreme Court, on the other hand, decided to hear on March 4 a plea seeking registration of first investigation reports (FIR) against politicians for hate speeches, which allegedly led to violence in the capital.

It added that the courts were not equipped to handle pressure to control riots.

Delhi Police have registered 254 FIRs and arrested or detained at least 903 persons in connection with the violence so far. Some 41 of the cases were registered under the Arms Act. [FIR stands for first information report. It is a document providing the basic information that a cognizable offense has been committed.]

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has asked the police to file a status report on measures taken for medical treatment and rehabilitation of violence-affected people in the district. The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 30.

Far from the capital, Meghalaya in northeastern India saw fresh incidents of violence on Saturday, related to the controversial citizenship law. The state’s capital, Shillong, saw unrest after unidentified people went on a stabbing spree in the city’s busiest market, killing three and injuring over 10 people.

The state government soon imposed curfew in parts of Shillong, mobile Internet restrictions were imposed, with the police arrest eight people.

India passed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) last December. The legislation grants citizenship to non-Muslim religious minorities escaping persecution in three neighboring countries — Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Since then, protests condemning the new law have been witnessed nationwide.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Family members of Amir 27 and Hashim 17 mourn during the funeral procession of two brothers who were killed during the deadly anti-Muslim violence over CAA took place in Mustafabad of North East Delhi, India on February 29, 2020.  Photographer: Javed Sultan/AA]

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