The death toll in the riots in Delhi climbed to nine on Tuesday, as riots continued for a third day in the capital city. Parts of northeast Delhi continue to teeter on the edge, as incidents of violence once again flared up after an overnight lull. Several incidents of violence and stone-pelting were reported from interiors of localities such as Jaffarabad, Brahmapuri, Maujpur. Multiple journalists were also attacked on Tuesday while they were on the job.
Television camera crew, photographers and journalists are being roughed up by the crowds on the streets. Rioters are reportedly questioning anyone holding a mobile phone and the mobile phones being checked for any incriminating pictures that are deleted on the spot.
Thick smoke billowed in the air and mobs roamed unchecked through the streets, pelting stones, vandalising shops and threatening locals. Rioters damaged two fire tenders in Gokulpuri and crowds raising incendiary slogans set on fire a bike in the epicentre of the trouble Maujpur.
Streets in many parts of the area were littered with stones, bricks and burnt tyres, bearing testimony to the spiralling violence and bloodshed that took on a communal taint on Monday and injured about 150 people, including 48 police personnel.
GTB Hospital in Delhi said that the death toll from the violence that erupted since Sunday over the amended citizenship law is now nine. A Delhi Police head constable, Ratan Lal, was among the nine killed in the violence. One of the deceased was identified as Vinod Kumar, 45, a resident of Ghonda who was brought dead to the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital, according to hospital authorities. One of the other deceased was identified as Mohammad Furqan, they said. The identity of the other deceased is yet to be ascertained.
Furkanâ€™s brother, Mohammed Imran, overcome with grief, said they were both in the handicrafts business.
"He had gone to get some food for his children. Someone told me he had been shot. I couldn't believe it as I had met him barely an hour earlier. I kept calling him... I then rushed to GTB Hospital where I was told that he is dead. My world has crashed around me," he told reporters, sobbing inconsolably outside the hospital.
Imran blamed BJP leader Kapil Mishra's tweet, who had said that he was giving the Delhi Police an ultimatum to clear the streets of protesters, and that till US President Trump was in India, things will be peaceful. "After that, we wonâ€™t listen to you (police) if the roads are not vacated,â€ť he said," Mishra had said. Before this, Imran said, everything was peaceful.
Among those injured are two people, including a minor who suffered gunshot injuries and were referred to other hospitals in the city from the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital. They were identified as Danish, 12, and 30-year-old Zulfikar, the authorities said.
With US President Donald Trump in the city, Delhi Police ramped up security in the area. It is being assisted by paramilitary personnel.
The others, who were brought to the hospital, were discharged while 14 were referred to either GTB Hospital or Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital. Till Monday, authorities had said at least four people, including the head constable, were killed in the violence.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged everyone to refrain from indulging in violence and directed district magistrates to organise peace marches and meetings with people of all faiths.
Kejriwal called a meeting of all-party MLAs of the violence-hit areas and senior officials from different departments. The Delhi CM said he has asked district magistrates and SDMs to conduct peace march and peace meetings which will see participation of people from all religions. He said these meetings must see participation of MLAs.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik and others to address the situation.
Schools were shut and fearful residents stayed indoors as restless crowds roamed the streets, seemingly unmindful of prohibitory orders restricting the assembly of more than four people imposed by police until March 24.
"There is hardly any police presence in the area. Rioters are running around threatening people, vandalising shops. The law and order situation is extremely bad. Families need to be evacuated. We are unsafe in our own homes," a resident of Maujpur told PTI.
Another added that this is the first time in 35 years -- possibly since the 1984 anti-Sikh riots -- that he has seen a situation such as this. "The area had always remained peaceful," he told PTI.
Five stations on the Delhi Metro's Pink Line were closed for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in the wake of the trouble.
With inputs from PTI and IANS