A full-scale communal riot, Delhi’s worst in at least three decades, broke out on Tuesday, with clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups in several neighbourhoods in North-east Delhi leaving at least 13 dead (since Monday) and over 250 injured even as police and paramilitary forces struggled to restore peace.
What started off as clashes between pro- and anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act groups over the weekend further degenerated into communal violence on Tuesday — the signs were already there on Monday — with rioters from both communities, armed with guns, swords, sticks, and stones, running amok on the streets.
As concerns mounted over the clashes, the government repatriated 1985 batch Indian Police Service officer SN Shrivastava from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to the Delhi Police, and posted him as the special commissioner of police – law and order. He is likely to succeed Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik.
Hours before, home minister Amit Shah — Delhi Police report to the Union home ministry — held a meeting early Tuesday afternoon, attended by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, home secretary Ajay Bhalla, Intelligence Bureau director Arvind Kumar, Delhi Police commissioner Patnaik, Congress leader Subhash Malhotra and Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Manoj Tiwari to assess the situation . The riots coincided with US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Capital, but they didn’t disrupt it.
After the meeting, Kejriwal said all political parties will ensure that normalcy returns to the city. ‘Everyone wants that the violence be stopped,’ he said, striking an amicable tone in the wake of a political blame game over the clashes. It was also decided at the meeting that peace committees should be reactivated in all localities.