Delhi violence kills 23: A look at other clashes in capital

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A mob attacks a person at Khajuri Khas crossing in Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

The number of deaths in the violence in Delhi since Sunday has risen to 23. Groups of men wielding sticks and rods roamed Maujpur, Gokulpuri, Bhajanpura, Jaffrabad, Chandbagh and Khureji Khas areas, setting ablaze homes and shops of Muslims. Over 150 people have been injured in the clashes.

Late last night, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited areas affected by the violence and met with top police officers. Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also held a meeting during which the AAP leader asked Shah to use all options to control the violence but did not specifically ask that the Army be called in.

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Here is a list of incidents of violence in Delhi in the last decade

February 2020: Violent mobs torched vehicles, homes, and shops in northeast Delhi, particularly in the areas of Maujpur, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh and Dayalpur. The area has been on edge since February 23 when a rally by BJP’s Kapil Mishra to counter anti-CAA protests in the area had been followed by waves of stone-pelting. Vehicles were burnt, homes and shops set ablaze, and stones pelted in Maujpur.

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After the events of December 15, Jamia Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar had said that the police did not take permission to enter the university.

December 2019: On December 15, a protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) turned violent after protesters allegedly pelted stones at the police and set public buses on fire. Later, the police entered the college library and beat up the students, who weren’t protesting. After the events of December 15, Jamia Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar had said that the police did not take permission to enter the university. The V-C had condemned the police brutality.

On December 17, a crowd of 2,000 gathered at the New Seelampur Chowk to protest against the new citizenship law, and things took a violent turn when men hurled bricks at police personnel, before vandalising buses. Angry protesters had torched several motorbikes, and damaged buses in the Seelampur area. Police resorted to lathi-charge and teargas. At least 22 people, including 12 police personnel, were injured.

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On December 17, a crowd of 2,000 gathered at the New Seelampur Chowk to protest against the new citizenship law

On December 20, violent clashes between police and protesters broke out in Old Delhi’s Darya Ganj, with police saying “outsiders” from North East Delhi were to blame.

August 2019:  Violence broke out over the Supreme Court-mandated demolition of Ravidas temple inside Jahanpanah city forest on August 10. Hundreds of protesters marched from Ramlila Maidan to Tughlaqabad, where the temple site is located, and Bhim Army chief and Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested. The protest in Delhi came a week after a similar protest of Dalits in Punjab on August 13 over the issue.

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Vehicles damaged during the Ravidas demolition protest. (Gajendra Yadav)

June 2018: An argument over a passerby being pushed in northwest Delhi’s Sangam Park spiralled into a mob fight, stone-pelting and hurling of communally charged slurs between members of the Muslim and Valmiki communities. Police said the trigger was a 36-year-old man taking offence to the fact that a Class X boy from the Valmiki community had pushed a bystander, who crashed into him. “Our son had only pushed the passerby and that man had assaulted him,” the boy’s mother said. Around six people were injured in the stone-pelting leading to tension in the area.

2017: In 2017, widespread protests broke out after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the religious leader of Dera Sacha Sauda, was convicted of rape. The riots began in Panchkula and later spread to other parts of the northern Indian states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the capital, New Delhi.

2016: Waves of violence hit parts of North India in 2016 as thousands of members of the Jat community took to the streets demanding reservation. At least 30 were killed, dozens injured, and scores of shops and buildings ransacked and set ablaze. The protest began in Haryana, slowly spiralled to the capital.


Hindus, Muslims clash in Trilokpuri

2014 Trilokpuri violence: At least 13 people were injured including eight with bullet injuries after clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims in Delhi's Trilokpuri area. There were different versions on what triggered the violence. One group said some individuals had desecrated a temporary religious structure, but others claimed tension had been simmering in the area since Bakrid on October 6.