Shoot-at-sight to stop Delhi riots

Armed rival mobs attack passersby, toll climbs to 13 |Jaffrabad Metro station cleared of CAA protesters | Shrivastava made Special Commissioner, Law & Order

New Delhi, February 25

The Delhi Police late Tuesday issued shoot-at-sight orders in four areas of northeast Delhi — Bhajanpura, Maujpur, Khureji Khas and Chand Bagh — where looting, arson and rioting of unprecedented scale were reported throughout the day even as the toll in the violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) climbed to 13. The orders were issued after the MHA appointed SN Shrivastava, a 1985-batch IPS officer, as Special Commissioner (Law and Order), Delhi.

Parallel to the appointment, the Jaffrabad metro station was cleared of women camping there for anti-CAA protests since Saturday, leading to counter-agitations on Sunday that triggered the violence. Two journalists were severely injured and three more attacked as they filmed the violence.

JK 24X7 News channel reporter Aakash was shot at and is recovering at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital here while NDTV’s Arvind Gunasekar lost three front teeth in an assault near Maujpur. He would need corrective surgery. Prohibitory orders remained in force in northeast district but images of rampaging mobs kept streaming across social media and news spaces, putting a question mark on the enforcement of Section 144,CrPC. Delhi police sources said 56 cops and 130 civilians had been injured in attacks that started on Monday and were carried out today by rival mobs from different communities, attacking people, looting passersby, torching houses and shops and targeting religious sites.

Home Minister Amit Shah called a high-level meeting that resolved to enhance surveillance along Delhi’s borders, activate peace committees and ensure coordination between local MLAs and cops. No discussion was held on whether to call the Army, said sources.

Medical Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital confirmed 13 deaths and said people were still reporting with pellet and gunshot injuries. “It is going to be a long night for the doctors at GTB hospital,” said a hospital source. Social media platforms carried shocking images of smoke billowing from Gokulpuri tyre market , burnt down houses and rampaging mobs wielding rods and sticks. As many as 6,000 armed police personnel were deployed across northeast district. In Maujpur, Bhajanpura, Khajuri Khas, Karawal Nagar, Chand Bagh, Noor-e-Ilahi mosque and Jaffrabad, rioters checked identities of people entering the areas. — TNS

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