New Delhi clashes: 21 dead, at least 188 injured in clashes amid Trump’s visit

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Authorities deployed tear gas, as protesters hurled stones, damaged property and set numerous vehicles and a gasoline pump on fire, according to police, as the violence stretched into its second day.

On Wednesday morning, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s highest elected official, tweeted that police were “unable to control situation and instil confidence” despite ongoing efforts overnight, and requested that the military be called in and a curfew imposed in affected areas.

At least 188 people have been treated in hospital, mostly from bullet injuries, and the rest from blunt force trauma, since the violence began.

Twenty-one people have been declared dead, including a police officer who died from a bullet injury to the head. That number is expected to rise as the counting process continues, Chief Casualty Medical Officer at Delhi’s Guru Tej Bahadur Hospital said Wednesday.

Asad Ali, who works at a factory, said he had witnessed violence in East Delhi. “There are a lot of mobs outside and they are running around with rods breaking windows and destroying vehicles. We aren’t able to leave our houses. They are pelting stones as well,” Ali told CNN.

Several Indian journalists have also been injured covering the clashes. Arvind Gunasekar, a correspondent working for NDTV, told CNN he was in East Delhi reporting on violence at a Muslim graveyard on Monday when a mob of around 20 people turned on him. Gunasekar said the group had been yelling pro-Hindu slogans.

CNN has reached out to local police for further comment.

Months of protests

For months, Indians have been protesting over the controversial law, which gives Indian citizenship to asylum seekers from three neighboring countries — but not if they are Muslim. A number of people have died as part of the ongoing clashes.

Opposition parties say the law is unconstitutional as it bases citizenship on a person’s religion and would further marginalize India’s 200-million strong Muslim community.

Clashes broke out in Maujpur, New Delhi, between supporters and opponents of India's new controversial citizenship law.

The government, ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the law seeks to protect religious minorities who fled persecution in their home countries.

There has also been pushback from indigenous groups in India’s northeastern states, who fear that giving citizenship to large numbers of immigrants would change the unique ethnic make-up of the region and their way of life, regardless of religion.

The latest bout of violence came as Trump traveled to India for the first time as US President, a much-anticipated event intended to bolster US-India relations. The 36-hour state visit, which concluded Tuesday night, ended without any major announcements on trade or security.

Speaking to the media in New Delhi on Tuesday, Trump said that he had not raised the clashes with his counterpart, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but that they had discussed religious freedom.

Modi has been accused of taking steps to move India away from secularism and toward a Hindu state, including through the citizenship bill. Trump did not seem concerned with the specifics of those steps, saying instead that Modi wants “religious freedom very strongly.”

The violence took place in East Delhi, approximately 11 miles from where Trump and Modi held talks.

American officials have previously expressed concern about the citizenship law and suggested that the President should raise the issue with Modi during the trip.



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