New Delhi: The Delhi Police said that a head constable was killed during clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in northeast Delhi on Monday.
Head Constable Ratan Lal, posted at ACP Gokalpuri office, was deployed in Maujpur area where protestors allegedly torched several houses, shops and a fire tender among other vehicles in a clash between pro-CAA and anti-CAA groups. The constable was injured in stone pelting, police said, and died of his injuries in hospital.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Shahdara, Amit Sharma was also injured during the clashes, a senior official said. Sharma suffered injuries to his head and hand. He has been hospitalised and is doing fine, the official added. The DCP's car was also allegedly set afire.
Police fire teargas shells and lathi-charged the crowd to disperse the protestors. The clashes are taking place a day ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi where a dinner banquet is being hosted in his honour on Tuesday.
Reports say that Section 144 prohibiting unlawful assembly has been imposed in 10 localities of northeast Delhi.
"Some incidents of violence and arson have been reported in areas of North East District, particularly in the areas of Maujpur, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh and Dayalpur.
"It is appealed to the people of Delhi and particularly to the North East District to maintain peace and harmony and not to believe in any rumours. It is also appealed to the media not to circulate any disturbing pictures which may further aggravate the situation," the police said.
Among several videos being circulated on social media, one shows a crowd of people, in front of whom a man with a gun is seen walking towards a policeman and pushing him, and proceeding to fire shots from the firearm across the metal barricade-like dividers on the road.
In another video, hundreds of people are seen rushing towards a group of police personnel in riot gear approaching them.
The pro and anti-CAA groups were clashing for the second consecutive day on Monday and hurled stones at each other.
According to officials, a fire tender was damaged by the protesters after it responded to a fire call in Chand Bagh.
The Delhi Metro closed entry and exit at the Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur stations as an uneasy calm prevailed in the area. "Entry & exit of Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur are closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations," the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a tweet.
Jaffrabad metro station entry and exits had been closed for over 24 hours.
Clashes first broke out on Sunday evening between pro and anti-CAA groups near Jaffrabad after a large number of people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) blocked a road, while similar sit-ins were launched in several other parts of the national capital.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi condemned the violence in Delhi and urged people to show restraint, compassion and understanding, irrespective of the provocation. He said peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified.
"The violence today in Delhi is disturbing and must be unequivocally condemned. Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified. I urge the citizens of Delhi to show restraint, compassion and understanding no matter what the provocation," Gandhi tweeted.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged lieutenant governor of Delhi and the Union home minister to restore order.
Nobody should be allowed to orchestrate violence, he said.
"I just spoke to the LG. He has assured that more police forces are being sent. Violence will not be tolerated by anyone. I request people to maintain peace. No solution will come out of violence," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
In another tweet, he said,"The death of a head constable is very sad. He was also one of us. Please give up violence. Nobody benefits from violence. All problems will be solved peacefully, he said in another tweet.
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal instructed the police commissioner to maintain law and order in the national capital in the wake of violence.
"Instructed @DelhiPolice and @CPDelhi to ensure that law and order is maintained in North East Delhi. The situation is being closely monitored. I urge everyone to exercise restraint for maintenance of peace and harmony," Baijal tweeted.
Delhi minister and Babarpur MLA Gopal Rai on Monday urged the people in the area to maintain peace, saying some people were purposely trying to disturb the atmosphere.
"With folded hands, I request people in Babarpur Assembly to maintain peace. Some people are purposely trying to spoil the atmosphere. I have spoken to Delhi LG and he has assured me that more policemen will be deployed to bring the situation under control," Rai said in a tweet....