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Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Jaffrabad in New Delhi on Sunday.

Clashes over CAA grip Aligarh, Delhi

Aligarh/New Delhi: Clashes broke out between police and anti-CAA protesters indulging in arson and stone-pelting in the old city area of Aligah on Sunday, during which a 22-year-old man was shot at and injured by a miscreant, said officials.

Clashes also broke out on Sunday evening between pro and anti-CAA groups near Jaffrabad in northeast Delhi which was gripped by tension when a large number of people who have been protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act blocked a road.

With protesters indulging in vandalisation of property and throwing stones at security personnel in upper Kot area under Kotwali police station of Aligarh, the police fired teargas shells to disperse the mob, said Aligarh district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh.

Following the violence, the administration also suspended Internet services in the city as a precautionary measure, Singh added.

Deputy inspector-general of police (Aligarh range) Preetinder Singh told PTI that police have also detained some persons after the violence.

The protesters have been evicted from their “dharna” site, he added.

The Aligarh DM said the violence broke out at a spot on the Mohamed Ali Road leading to the Kotwali police station where some women protestors had been holding a dharna since Saturday with the police trying to evict the protesters.

The trouble began around 5 pm when the police tried to persuade the women protestors to clear the road, he said.

“We told them that the women protestors were already holding a dharna at Eidgah and they would not be permitted to hold another such protest near Kotwali,” said Singh.

He said, “Even as efforts were underway to convince women to leave the area with prominent Muslim citizens of the area, including the Sahar mufti Abdul Khalid trying to defuse the situation, mayhem broke out and brick-batting started…”

The district magistrate said police used tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

“An electricity department transformer was set afire but police managed to douse the flames before it could spread,” he said.

Describing the situation in Upper Kot area as “tense but under control” Singh said, “An intense patrolling of the affected areas is underway and the police are trying to trace out those who were instigating the women protestors at Upper Kot since yesterday”

There were also reports of injuries to some people but the exact number of those injured in the clashes is yet to ascertained, said official sources.

One of the injured included 22-year-old man Tariq, whose father and brother told police that he suffered the bullet injury after a “miscreant” opened fire at him amid clashes between police and protesters.

Tariq was admitted at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital at Aligarh Muslim University, where doctors described his condition as “serious”.

The victim has suffered the bullet injury in stomach, they said.

Tariq’s father told police at the hospital in the presence of this PTI reporter that his son was standing in front of his house when he was shot at by the miscreant whom he recognises.

At Jaffrabad in northeast Delhi, police fired tear gas shells as members of the two groups pelted stones at each other in Maujpur. For security reasons, the entry and exit gates of the Maujpur-Babarpur metro station were closed.

Gates of the Jaffrabad station were also closed earlier in the day and a large number of security personnel deployed as hundreds of demonstrators, mostly women, blocked a road near the metro station since the Saturday evening, demanding a rollback of the contentious amended act.

BJP leader Kapil Mishra too had called a gathering near the Maujpur traffic signal, demanding that the police remove anti-CAA protestors within three days.

Later in the afternoon, a clash erupted between the two groups which blamed each other for starting the violence.

Delhi police personnel stopped the pro-CAA protestors when they tried to march towards Kardampuri where another anti-CAA protest was on.

“We are trying to identify the people behind the incident,” joint commissioner of police (eastern range) Alok Kumar told reporters. 

The situation is under control now, a senior police official said.

 “We are continuously speaking to local leaders so that peace prevails in the area and are also requesting protesters to clear the main road,” he said.

Taking to Twitter, Mishra said, “We have given a three-day ultimatum to the Delhi police to get the road cleared. Get the Jafrabad and Chandbagh road cleared.”

In a video tweeted by him in which is addressing the gathering, Mishra said, “They (protestors) want to create trouble in Delhi, that’s why they have closed the roads. That’s why they have created a riot-like situation here. We have not pelted any stones.”

“Till the US President is in India, we are leaving the area peacefully. After that we won’t listen to you (police) if the roads are not vacated by then,” he told the gathering.

Aman Sharma (22), a student and resident of Maujpur who was part of the group accompanying Mishra, said they were holding a protest against the closure of roads by those opposing the CAA. 

“At around 2:30 pm, they (anti-CAA protestors) started pelting stones and glass bottles,” he claimed.

Shaan (28), a resident of Kabir Nagar, said the situation escalated after Mishra tweeted that he would hit the streets.

“It was then that the stone-pelting began from their side. The other side also responded and the situation flared up,” he said.

Shadab (28), a student, held Mishra responsible for situation, saying the protest at Jaffrabad was peaceful.

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