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World Worst communal violence in Delhi in decades leaves 13 dead as Trump visits India

04:40  26 february  2020
04:40  26 february  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Two days of communal violence in the northeastern part of Delhi have left at least 13 people dead and 150 injured in the worst such clashes in India ’s capital in decades . The violence happened to unfold as President Trump made his first official visit to India and conducted meetings Tuesday in

Sorry, Western Media: Delhi violence is unlikely to upset Trump or Modi. India feels the sideshow of violence in the capital, even as the United States Tribune News *Service* New Delhi , February 25 A day after clashes in northeast Delhi left five people dead , former home minister P Chidambaram has

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NEW DELHI —Rioters roamed the streets with iron rods and wooden sticks, demanding to know whether people were Hindus or Muslims. Mosques were damaged and shops were set ablaze, sending smoke billowing high into the air. People with gunshot wounds and blunt trauma from hurled stones rushed into a nearby hospital.

Two days of communal violence in the northeastern part of Delhi have left at least 13 people dead and 150 injured in the worst such clashes in India’s capital in decades.

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NEW DELHI — In one part of New Delhi , President Trump was sightseeing and talking about his warming This kind of communal violence has left a lasting mark on Mr. Modi’s legacy. In 2002, when he Many Muslims feared that once Mr. Trump left India , the violence would get even worse .

Sorry, Western Media: Delhi violence is unlikely to upset Trump or Modi. India feels the sideshow of violence in the capital, even as the United States Tribune News *Service* New Delhi , February 25 A day after clashes in northeast Delhi left five people dead , former home minister P Chidambaram has

The violence happened to unfold as President Trump made his first official visit to India and conducted meetings Tuesday in the tony central area of the city home to central government buildings and embassies.

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The riots represent a serious escalation of tensions after months of protests in response to a controversial citizenship law and growing frictions between supporters and opponents of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Since winning reelection last year in a landslide victory, Modi has moved swiftly to implement his party’s agenda of Hindu primacy in India, a multireligious democracy founded as a secular nation. The citizenship law, which provides a fast track to citizenship for migrants from six religions — excluding Islam — is the most contentious step yet. While India is a Hindu-majority nation, Muslims make up about 14 percent of its 1.3 billion people.

At least 20 killed in violent clashes in India's capital

  At least 20 killed in violent clashes in India's capital The clashes between Hindus and Muslims came during and after President Trump's first visit to the nation.Three days of clashes in India's capital city of New Delhi  between opponents and supporters of India's new citizenship law left at least 20 dead and more than 150 injured. The violence erupted during and after President Trump's first official visit to the subcontinent.

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Times of India . Clashes in Delhi live news: Five dead in violence ; police say situation very tense. A violent clash erupted on Sunday between two groups in Delhi 's Maujpur during the anti-CAA ( Left ) Clashes broke out in Delhi 's Jaffrabad and Maujpur area during anti-CAA protests | Aayush Goel; A

Slideshow by photo services

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Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in peaceful protests against the law. Some protests have turned violent, and the government mounted a crackdown, storming university campuses and making widespread arrests. Nearly 20 people were killed in protests in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, in December.

On Tuesday night, police had barricaded the road to Maujpur, a poor and densely populated neighborhood of narrow lanes that reported some of the worst violence. Isolated gunshots punctuated the tense silence. All of the shops were shuttered.

This week’s violence in northeastern Delhi is the worst in the capital since at least 1992, when there were nationwide riots, and possibly since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

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  Indian police arrest over 500 for Delhi sectarian violence Indian police arrest over 500 for Delhi sectarian violenceA firefighter walks past damaged shops after they were set on fire by a mob in a riot affected area after clashes erupted between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law, on Feb. 26.

The trigger for the clashes came when Kapil Mishra, a local leader of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, on Sunday threatened to clear a sit-in mounted by protesters, nearly all Muslim women, against the citizenship law. He said he would take no action while Trump was visiting, but that if police did not move the protesters soon, he would take matters into his own hands.

What happened next remains unclear and chaotic, but groups of Hindus and Muslims hurled stones at one another Monday.

Adil Khan, 29, lives in the neighborhood of Kardampuri and said Muslims gathered in the street to defend themselves after a message went out that a mob was massing to attack. By the next morning, the mob was closer.

“From our house, we could see the mobs burning vehicles and shops,” he said. “The mob was very close. I was scared for my life.”

In a nearby area, groups of Hindu activists wielding sticks roamed the streets below Bilal Rabbani’s house, pounding on the hoods of passing cars and forcing them to chant “Jai Shri Ram,” or “Victory to Lord Ram,” a favorite slogan of Modi’s Hindu nationalist ruling party. Rabbani said supporters of the citizenship law — who appeared to be outsiders, rather than people who lived in the neighborhood — also set fire to Muslim shops as police looked on.

“People used to say that things will change for Muslims if [Modi] wins and I never believed them,” said Rabbani, 25, who is training to be a librarian. “But I can see it now.”

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Several journalists were attacked. Saurabh Shukla, a reporter with New Delhi Television, said he and a colleague were on an overpass filming damage to a mosque Tuesday when they were spotted by rioters. The rioters came and began punching and beating his colleague with sticks, damaging three of his teeth. He and his colleague were allowed to leave only after Shukla showed them a string of prayer beads to prove he was Hindu and deleted the footage from their phones, Shukla said.

Police struggled to contain the violence, and witnesses said some joined in at points. A Reuters correspondent said he saw policemen encouraging supporters of the law to throw stones at Muslim protesters. Mohammad Sajid, 40, who works at a shop, said police arrived in his Muslim-dominated neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon and fired tear gas. When angry residents began to throw stones, the police opened fire, he said, hitting his younger brother in his back.

He said he saw five others with gunshot wounds. “It’s a dark day,” said Sajid. The “police shouldn’t have fired.” A spokesman for the Delhi police did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment on the incident.

On Tuesday night, nearly a dozen injured people arrived on motorbikes, rickshaws and ambulances at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, several with gunshot injuries. Rajesh Kumar Singh, 36, came with a gunshot wound in his thigh. Singh’s brother Amit said he was shot by masked men near his home and blamed Muslims for the attack.

“Why are they attacking us? If they are against the [citizenship] law, they should tell the government,” said Singh.

Sajid, the shop worker, said the area was plunged into bloodshed when members of the ruling party decided to confront opponents of the law. For two months, the protest against the citizenship law in the area had unfolded “without any violence,” he said. “Things turned ugly when the [law’s] supporters came.”

joanna.slater@washpost.com

niha.masih@washpost.com

Saurabh Sharma contributed reporting from Lucknow.

Iran's Khamenei asks India to stop attacks on Muslims after deadly riots .
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged India on Thursday to "confront extremist Hindus" and "stop the massacre of Muslims", adding to the international fallout over deadly Hindu-Muslim violence in New Delhi. © Reuters/Caren Firouz Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran At least 44 people were killed and hundreds injured in the worst communal riots in the Indian capital in decades, triggered by clashes between supporters of a new citizenship law and those against it.

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