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Seven killed, 150 injured as citizenship law protests turn violent in Delhi: Police

Seven killed, 150 injured as citizenship law protests turn violent in Delhi: Police

People supporting the new citizenship law beat a Muslim man during a clash with those opposing the law in New Delhi, Feb 24, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

NEW DELHI: At least seven people were killed and about 150 injured in the Indian capital during protests over a new citizenship law on Monday (Feb 24), a police official told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Seven persons including one head constable of Delhi police have died," said Anil Mittal, a Delhi police officer, adding that around 150 persons were injured in the violence on Monday.

"Some of the people brought in had gunshot wounds," Dr Rajesh Kalra, additional medical superintendent at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, said on Tuesday. 

Demonstrators opposing a new citizenship law throw pieces of bricks towards riot police and those supporting the law, during a clash in New Delhi, Feb 24, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

The clashes erupted between thousands demonstrating for and against the new citizenship law. Police used tear gas and smoke grenades, but struggled to disperse the stone-throwing crowds.

One police constable was among those killed in the violence that erupted just ahead of US President Donald Trump's maiden visit to the capital city. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are set to meet for talks on Tuesday at a venue located a few kilometres away from where the clashes occurred.

Tension 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.

Firefighters spray water on buildings after they were set on fire following clashes between supporters and opponents of a new citizenship law, at the Bhajanpura area of New Delhi on Feb 24, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain)

Monday's clashes were among the worst seen in Delhi since the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) began in early December. India's capital has been a hotbed of protests against the law, which eases the path of non-Muslims from three neighbouring 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. 

Source: Reuters/zl

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