Amidst the Muslim-dominated protests in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), areas near the Maujpur Metro station in the capital witnessed Kashmir-like stone-pelting. Today, like yesterday, activists attacked police, commoners and properties by throwing stones at them. Head Constable Ratan Lal of Delhi Police was killed in the riots. There are mutually conflicting reports about the cause of death. One report claims a big piece of rock landed on his unprotected head. The other says a rioter shot at him.
The rioters opened fire at the police and other citizens. One of them was caught on camera. Ananya Bhardwaj, a senior assistant editor at The Print, identified him as Shahrukh in a tweet.
Ratan Lal was posted at the Gokulpuri police station.
Earlier in the day, supporters of the law counter-attacked. The two sides pelted stones at each other at the Kabir Nagar area near Maujpur Metro station. This is a Muslim-majority area.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) tweeted on Monday morning that the exit and entry gates of Jafrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur Metro stations were closed. The Metro will not stop at these stations. DMRC has not given any information about the re-opening of the gates so far.
Earlier on Sunday, opponents of the CAA pelted stones indiscriminately in the Jafrabad area near the Maujpur traffic signal, which is right next to the Metro station.
Police fired tear gas shells at the miscreants. In Maujpur, adjacent to Jafrabad, two groups pelted stones at each other, after which the police released tear gas shells. Tension has gripped the area since hundreds of anti-CAA protesters near the Jafrabad Metro station blocked the road connecting Seelampur, Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar.
Citizens rising against anti-CAA protesters
Today’s trouble began when some CAA supporters arrived at Maujpur and questioned the protesters as to what right they had to inconvenience other citizens.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra led one of the groups and his number of supporters swelled soon. The AAP-turned-BJP politician had warned Delhi Police yesterday that the blockades at different parts of the city must be cleared by the time US President Donald Trump, who today began his three-day India visit, left the country.
The anti-CAA group threw stones at the group led by Mishra. Some people who were standing at the rear of the supporters’ crowd retaliated.
Mishra and his supporters took to the road. They started demonstrations demanding the opening of roads in Jafrabad and Chand Bagh and sat on a dharna (sit-in). At this point, some people emerged from a street and threw stones at Mishra and his supporters. In response, Kapil Mishra’s supporters chased the stone-pelters and retaliated against the stone-pelting. The stone-pelting continued for about half an hour near the Maujpur intersection.
Delhi Police kept watching the spectacle as a mute spectator. When the situation started to get out of control, the police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. Many people were injured in this stone-pelting.
Meanwhile, the protesters caught a person and beat him badly until some people came out of the crowd and rescued him.
Delhi Police personnel hurt
Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range) Alok Kumar said that the cops have been at the receiving end of the protesters’ wrath. “We have overcome the situation. Adequate security personnel have been deployed at the scene and flag march is on,” he said.
People troubled by the road jam in Jafrabad had gone off the road in Maujpur due to tear gas shells, but after a while, they came back on the road. People demonstrating in support of CAA say that Delhi Police should ensure that roads in Jafarabad and Chand Bagh open immediately.
The routes Shaheen Bagh-Kalindi Kunj-Sarita Vihar Road, Wazirabad-Chand Bagh Road and Maujpur-Jafrabad Road have been closed due to the protest against CAA.
Due to the protests, traffic at the Maujpur intersection is closed from both sides. People associated with Hindu organisations sat on the streets in support of CAA at the Maujpur crossroads. BJP’s Mishra reached the spot with his supporters. People present in the dharna shouted, “We Support CAA!”
Personnel of police and paramilitary force were hailed the CAA supporters with applause.
Jafrabad Metro station is only half a kilometre away from the Maujpur Chowk. Mishra said he would not allow the emergence of a second Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.