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Modi Calls For Calm As 20 Killed In Delhi Riots

Congress Social gathering staff shout slogans towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi throughout a protest in Amritsar on February 26, 2020. NARINDER NANU / AFP.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to as for calm Wednesday after Delhi’s worst sectarian violence in a long time left a minimum of 20 folks lifeless and requires a navy curfew.

This week’s battles between Hindus and Muslims have seen mobs armed with swords, weapons and acid raze a northeastern district of the Indian capital.

The clashes, which additionally left virtually 200 injured, have been triggered by protests towards a citizenship regulation seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and a part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda.

They exploded into brutal violence on Monday and Tuesday, with residents pressured to flee their properties after seeing their properties destroyed and a mosque attacked.

“I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important… calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest,” Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, a political opponent, referred to as for the military to be deployed and for a curfew to be imposed over the flashpoint areas.

“Police, despite all its efforts, (are) unable to control situation and instil confidence,” Kejriwal tweeted.

– Worry, anger –

Sunil Kumar, the director of the hospital the place most of the wounded have been taken, informed AFP on Wednesday that just about 60 had gunshot accidents.

On Wednesday morning residents cleaned out the blackened inside of a trashed mosque, together with a charred Koran, burned out throughout the violence within the Ashok Nagar space.

A video circulated on social media and verified by AFP confirmed males ripping off the muezzin’s loudspeaker on high of the mosque’s minaret and putting in a Hindu non secular flag.

Locals accused the police of doing nothing to assist — or worse.

“We tried to make many calls to the police… that people are entering our neighbourhoods chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’,” mentioned Naeem Malik, referring to a preferred Hindu chant.

“But police did not help us at all. We tried to save the women at the protest site but instead policemen started beating us up,” Malik mentioned, displaying wounds on his leg and arms.

Elsewhere a fireplace engine tried to place out blazes from the earlier night time, the air thick with smoke from still-smouldering vehicles, motorbikes, retailers and houses.

“They say we are not Indians but we are Indians by blood,” Farhat, 22, a pupil in Islamic research, mentioned in her father’s store as police appeared on.

“We are afraid, we left our homes. There is no police in the streets at night, just during the day.”

The world is house to principally poorer financial migrants residing in lots of shanty neighbourhoods, and a few fled on Wednesday forward of extra anticipated clashes.

“It is better to leave than to stick around here. Why would we want to die here?,” a tailor informed AFP, including that he was returning house to his village in northern India.

– ‘Politics of hate’ –

The unrest comes amid rising issues at house and overseas in regards to the course of India and the way forward for its 200 million Muslims since Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP swept to a second time period final 12 months.

Sonia Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress celebration, on Wednesday accused BJP figures of giving “inflammatory speeches spreading an atmosphere of hatred and fear”, together with in Delhi metropolis elections this month.

Congress “appeals to the people to reject the politics of hate,” Gandhi mentioned, calling Dwelling Minister Amit Shah, Modi’s shut ally, “responsible” for the riots.

Since profitable a second time period, Modi’s authorities has revoked the partial autonomy of Kashmir, India’s solely Muslim-majority state, and mentioned it desires to conduct a nationwide residents’ register to weed out “infiltrators”.

Along with the citizenship regulation, which fast-tracks claims for persecuted non-Muslim non secular immigrants, this has stoked fears that Modi’s grasp plan is to remould India as a Hindu nation, one thing he denies.

The citizenship regulation has sparked months of nationwide protests in addition to clashes that killed greater than 25 folks in December.

In current weeks sit-ins, principally by girls, have sprung up.

The flare-up in violence occurred as US President Donald Trump visited India and held talks with Modi in Delhi on Tuesday. However Trump left as scheduled on Tuesday and his go to was not visibly interrupted by the violence.


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