Islamabad, 26 February 2020 – Talha Akhtar:
The death toll in northeast Delhi violence over the amended citizenship law escalated to 20 as rioting has continued in Delhi for the third consecutive night, with reports of Muslim homes and shops being targeted by violent Hindu mobs.
The clashes first broke out on Sunday between protesters for and against a controversial citizenship law.
Photographs, videos and accounts on social media paint a chilling image of a city on the edge. There are reports of arson, of groups of men with sticks, iron rods and stones wandering the streets and of Hindus and Muslims facing off.
Both Hindus and Muslims are among the dead. Some 189 people are injured, according to GTB Hospital authorities.
The violence is centred on Muslim-majority neighbourhoods in north-east Delhi – such as Maujpur, Mustafabad, Jaffrabad and Shiv Vihar – just 18km (11 miles) from the heart of the capital.
Numerious mosque burnt, with pages from the Holy Qoran lying strewn on the ground.
Another mosque was vandalised on Tuesday afternoon. Shared footage showed men trying to rip the crescent from the top of the minaret.
The first deaths were reported on Monday, hours before Mr Trump’s arrival in Delhi.
As the violence escalated, it overshadowed Mr Trump’s visit, making it to national and global headlines.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who is monitoring the situation in the violence affected areas in the national capital, will attend the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting, today (Wednesday).
In a midnight hearing, the Delhi High Court directed police to ensure safe passage and emergency treatment for those injured in the violence over the amended citizenship law.
The Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup J Bhambhani directed the Delhi Police to deploy all resources to ensure safe passage for the injured to medical institutions with adequate facilities. The matter will now be heard on Wednesday at 2.15 pm.