Bullets have been found on rooftops of some houses in one of localities in violence-hit northeast Delhi, locals have claimed as the number of dead rose to 18 this morning after three days of clashes between pro- and anti- citizenship law protesters.
Horrific and unrelenting violence consumed northeast Delhi in the last three days. Clashes broke out on Sunday near northeast Delhi's Jaffrabad, a day after hundreds of women began a sit-in against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA. Large gatherings are banned - as per orders issued under Section 144 - across the area.
Delhi Police, heavily criticised for apparent inaction amid spiraling violence, responded late on Tuesday evening with a renewed push through violent-hit areas. In one of the localities - Chand Bagh - locals have claimed they have found bullet shells on their rooftops.
Carrying a bullet shell in her hand, a woman while speaking to NDTV said: "We found this on our rooftop. Others might have found these too in their houses," she said.
"Policemen are supporting us... they should've come earlier but this sort of violence was not anticipated. All of these (who indulged in violence) are outsiders," she added.
Maujpur was where local BJP leader Kapil Mishra led a pro-citizenship law rally on Sunday. At the rally, Kapil Mishra gave an ultimatum to the police, warning them "to clear the roads (of protesters in Jaffrabad) or we won't listen to you". The clashes intensified thereafter.
Shocking visuals showed tear gas being fired and pitched battles between protesters and outnumbered cops in areas like Chandbagh and Bhajanpura. Eighteen people, including a cop, have died, most of them from gunshot wounds; over 150 people have been injured.
The Union Home Ministry, which said on Monday evening that the situation was under control, repeated those assurances on Tuesday, even as it ruled out calling in the army to deal with the violence. The ministry said that adequate central and police forces were on the ground. Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with cops and officials on Tuesday evening - his third in 24 hours - to discuss the violence.
The CBSE, in response to fears of students, has postponed Board exams scheduled for Wednesday in parts of northeast Delhi. These include two in English Literature for Class X and three in Media and Web Applications for Class XII. Meanwhile, the Delhi government has ordered all private and government schools to remain closed.
The Union Cabinet will meet today to discuss the violence in the capital.