News Investigators/ Indian Police on Thursday said no fewer than 32 people killed in the deadliest violence that engulf India’s capital New Delhi as a heavy deployment of security forces brought an uneasy calm.
The violence began over a disputed new citizenship law on Monday, however led to clashes between Muslims and Hindus in which hundreds were injured.
Many suffered gunshot wounds, while arson, looting and stone-throwing has also taken place.
“The death count is now at 32,” Delhi police spokesman Anil Mittal said, noting the entire area is peaceful now.
At the heart of the unrest is a citizenship law which makes it easier for non-Muslims from some neighbouring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.
UN human rights Chief Michelle Bachelet said the new law adopted December 2019 is of “great concern” and she was worried by reports of police inaction in the face of assaults against Muslims by other groups.
“I appeal to all political leaders to prevent violence,” Bachelet said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has denied having any prejudice against India’s 180 million Muslims, saying that law is required to help persecuted minorities.
New Delhi has been the epicentre for protests against the new law, with students and large sections of the Muslim community leading the protests.
As the wounded were brought to hospitals, the focus shifted on the overnight transfer of Justice S. Muralidhar, a Delhi High Court judge who was hearing a petition into the riots.
The judge was said to have criticised government and police inaction on Wednesday. (Reuters/NAN)