'Go ahead and throw stones': How Delhi Police egged on pro-CAA crowd in Northeast Delhi

'Go ahead and throw stones': How Delhi Police egged on pro-CAA crowd in Northeast Delhi

Seven people were killed and several left injured after clashes between the supporters and opponents of the Citizenship law turned violent

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 12:30 PM IST

Seven persons including three civilians and one head constable of Delhi Police lost their lives in the clashes that took place after Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests took a violent turn at various places in North-East District of Delhi on Monday.

The two of the civilians who were killed in the violence were identified as Shahid and Furkan while the identity of one person is not yet known. Furkan lost his life in clashes at Bhajanpura. At least, 10 cops were injured in the violence while the number of civilians who sustained injuries in the clashes is not yet known.

Delhi Police Head Constable Rattan Lal lost his life in similar clashes in Delhi's Gokulpuri. According to police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Amit Sharma also sustained injuries in the clashes, which rocked parts of Gokulpuri area.Delhi Police said that the man in a red t-shirt who opened fire at the police during violence in North-East Delhi has been identified as Shahrukh.

Now, all government and private schools in violence-affected North East Delhi will be closed on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

Here's a look at what happened during the protest that led to clashes between the two groups in Maujpur and Jaffrabad area of Northeast Delhi;

What led to clash between the protesters?

India's capital which has been a hotbed of protests even before the citizenship Act came into force saw multiple vehicles set on fire, barricades torn down while thick smoke billowed as supporters clashed with the opponents on Monday.

Well, the clashes on Monday were on one of the worst seen in Delhi as police fired tear gas on the protesters which left several injured. The law that excludes the Muslims from India's three Muslim majority nations seems to have divided the Hindu's and Muslims, especially during the protest. Some protesters were seen hailing Lord Rama while pelting stones at the Muslims who vehemently opposed the law.

A Muslim man and a woman donning burqa were allegedly beaten up with sticks and rods by the supporters of the law, a Reuters witness said. The witness who narrated the incident said that for hours, policemen stood beside those who supported the law and stayed silent when the protests took a violent turn. "Go ahead and throw stones," shouted a policeman who backed the pro-CAA group, narrated the witness.

While a shop was set ablaze in Maujpur on Monday, a man with a saffron tikka on his forehead, who is a supporter of the law, asked the reporters on the field to stop filming and went on to say "Bade dino ke baad Hindu jaaga hain," a Scroll.in journalist narrated.

A TOI photojournalist who witnessed the event also experienced a similar fate. While covering the protests, with a camera, a Hindu Sena member approached him and asked him to put the saffron tikka on his forehead. After refusing to do so, the member said "You area Hindu, bhaiya. What is the harm?

Another CAA supporter told the photojournalist, "Bhai, aap bhi to Hindu ho? Kyun jaa rahe ho? Aaj Hindu jaag gaya hai.."

The mob who remained adamant even followed him and began threatening the photojournalist. One of the supporters even went on to ask, “Bhai, tu zyada uchhal raha hai. Tu Hindu hai ya Musalman?

Youngs boys drained fuel from motorbikes and made petrol bombs to flung at the opposers. "We are in support of the CAA. If they want to protest, they should go somewhere else," said a protester who was quoted by Reuters.

A tent had been set up on the main road near the Jaffrabad metro stationwhere more than 100 protesters, mostly women, protested against the law, Scroll reported. Around the protest site, the police stood equipped with batons and tear gas while the shops remained closed fearing tensions.

Speaking to Scroll.in, the protesters said that the violence was as a result of the remarks by BJP leader Kapil Mishra. A protester said that he comes here to instigate them.

Civilians also feared that the the violence could escalate as they saw rickshaws filled with stones and bricks travelling towards Maujpur on Monday. “Five police officials were filling stones in a battery rickshaw and sending it there [towards Maujpur Chowk],” Scroll.in quoted a resident.

During the protests, supporters of the law were seen holding placards and posters asking for Shaheen Bagh to be vacated and in support of the law. One poster even read "Howdy Trump" amid US President Donald Trump's ongoing India visit. While the area was burning, the police stood there and did nothing to quell the violence. Mobs set ablaze several shops and hurled stones at eachother.

As reported by Scroll.in a large group of anti-CAA protesters formed a human chain and also negotiated with the police. On the roads of Jaffrabad, several protesters were seen running as the police fired tear gas which led to panic among the protesters. At Maujpur Chowk, hundreds gathered to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Bharat Mata ki Jai" slogans amid the protests.

The police said that they saw a man firing at the protesters.

Meanwhile, Section 144 of CrPC had been imposed at 10 locations in the North-east district of the national capital after the clash.

Earlier, the metro stations of Maujpur and Jaffrabad area were temporarily closed ahead of the protests.

Who is the man who opened fire?

On Monday, the police had identified the man in a red T-shirt, who had opened fire at the police, as Shahrukh.

Shahrukh, the suspect who opened fire at police personnel during violence in North-East Delhi on Monday, has been detained, Delhi Police sources said.

Who are the victims of the violence?

Mohd Furkan (32), a civillian who died in the violence, used to make designer wedding card boxes to earn a livelihood. He told his wife that he would return soon after stepping out his house on Monday afternoon. But he did not. He suffered a bullet injury on his left thigh during the clashes and succumbed to his injuries in GTB hospital.

The brothers decided to stay back at home and even got the children back home from school early after hearing the news about the protest in the area. However, Furkan stepped out to buy something and was shot by the mobs.

Expressing grief after the lost of his younger brother, Mohd Imran said that they were unable to accept the news and do not know how to tell his sister-in-law about her husband's death.

The GTB hospital administration said that around 57 injured were admitted to the emergency ward including a 10-year-old with a bullet injury.

Head constable Rattan Lal also met with a similar fate after he was killed in Maujpur violence.

Head constable Rattan Lal

Head constable Rattan Lal | Sangeeta Pranvendra

He was a native of Tihavli village of Fatehpur in Sikar District in Rajasthan. Ratan Lal had joined Delhi Police in 1998 and was presently posted in the office of SP Gokulpuri.

Head Constable Ratan Lal and his family

Head Constable Ratan Lal and his family | Sangeeta Pranvendra

He is survived by his wife and 3 children aged 7, 10 and 12 years. His family lives in Delhi, while his mother and one brother in Sikar. He had spoken to his mother just two days back and promised her that he would come home on Holi.

Shahdara DCP Amit Sharma, who was injured during clashes between two groups in Gokulpuri yesterday, is now conscious. He underwent a surgery on Monday night at a hospital and his CT Scan was done on Tuesday morning. He is safe and out of danger, said the hospital administration.

What do official's have to say?

Delhi Police also asked citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the city."Some incidents of violence and arson have been reported in the areas of North East District, particularly in the areas of Maujpur, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh and Dayalpur. It is appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony and not to believe in any false rumours," read the statement by the Police.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Monday said the situation in the national capital was fully under control and sufficient forces were deployed on the ground.

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday instructed the police commissioner to maintain law and order in the national capital in the wake of violence during clashes in northeast Delhi.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an urgent meeting at his residence of MLAs and officials of the violence-hit areas of Delhi."The situation is very tense. We are continuously receiving calls related to incidents of violence from North-East Delhi," Delhi Police said.

The Commissioner of Police also held a meeting at Seelampur DCP Office on Monday night.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also hold a meeting on Tuesdaywith senior Delhi Police officers and top Home Ministry officials on the law and order situation in Delhi.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed profound grief over the death of Delhi police head constable, who lost his life during clashes between two groups in Delhi's Gokulpuri.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Monday wrote to Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal expressing concern over the safety of people belonging to the Muslim and Scheduled Caste community.He also said he wished to visit the areas affected by the violence and requested Baijal to direct Delhi Police to provide him adequate security for his visit.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Monday appealed to the people of Delhi to maintain communal harmony after violence rocked North East Delhi claiming four lives. She expressed condolences over the death of head constable Rattan Lal, who lost his life as a pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters clashed in Gokulpuri.

(With inputs from Sangeeta Pranvendra)


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