Trump’s Delhi Visit Rocked by Deadly Protests: 7 Killed

February 25, 2020 Updated: February 25, 2020
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Violent clashes and protests overshadowed President Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi, as at least seven people were killed and around 150 were injured in clashes between opposing groups in the Indian capital on Feb. 24.

The fatalities—six civilians and one policeman—were confirmed by police as the northeastern district of the city saw the deadliest riots since protests against a new citizenship law began over two months ago.

“Seven persons, including one head constable of Delhi police, have died,” Anil Mittal, a police officer, confirmed.

Tear gas and smoke grenades were used by police as they attempted to disperse and control the violence as thousands of people demonstrated for and against the new citizenship law. Demonstrators set vehicles and a petrol pump alight, threw stones, and tore down metal barricades.

“Some of the people brought in had gunshot wounds,” said Dr. Rajesh Kalra, additional medical superintendent at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in New Delhi.

The police officer died from a gunshot wound to the head, CNN reported.

Tensions in parts of the city remained high on Tuesday with schools remaining shut in some areas amid news reports of fresh clashes. At least five metro stations in the city were closed. A section 144 order, which prevents crowds of more than four people from gathering, was imposed on several areas in the region.

Epoch Times Photo
A man is beaten during a clash between people supporting a new citizenship law and those opposing the law in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 24, 2020. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Hindu nationalists and supporters of the Communist Party of India also clashed in parts of the country on Monday night as they held pro- and anti-U.S. street demonstrations in response to the president’s arrival.

The violence on Monday escalated as the president made his first official visit to India, with talks scheduled Tuesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a venue just miles from where the clashes erupted.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for an end to the violence at a press conference early on Tuesday.

“Whatever problems people have can be resolved peacefully,” he said. “Violence will not help find a solution.”

“I am very worried about the prevailing situation in certain parts of Delhi,” he wrote on Twitter. “All of us together should make all efforts to restore peace in our city. I again urge everyone to shun violence.”

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah met with Kejriwal, police officials, and local politicians on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

Epoch Times Photo
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah arrives at the Parliament in New Delhi, India, on Aug. 5, 2019. (Manish Swarup/AP Photo)

India’s capital has been a hotbed of protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which eases the path of non-Muslims from three neighboring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.

This has led to accusations that Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are undermining India’s secular traditions. The BJP denies any bias against India’s more than 180 million-strong Muslim minority, but objectors have been holding protests and camping out in parts of New Delhi for two months.

The violence erupted even as Trump was praising India as being a tolerant country.

“India is a country that proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights, the rule of law, and the dignity of every human being,” Trump said while addressing a rally of more than 100,000 people in Modi’s home state of Gujarat. “Your unity is an inspiration to the world.”

The president is scheduled to hold a solo press conference in the Indian capital on Tuesday evening before he leaves the country.

Reuters contributed to this report.