United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday expressed concern over the clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, PTI reported.
Tensions continued to simmer in and around North East Delhi for the fourth consecutive day as the toll from the violence rose to 24, with over 180 people injured. In some cases, the police have been accused of either inaction or complicity in the violence against large-scale attacks mostly on Muslim neighbourhoods. The Supreme Court and Delhi High Court castigated the police for inaction during the clashes.
“I think it’s very important that demonstrators be allowed to demonstrate peacefully and that security forces show restraint,” Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a daily press briefing. “This is the secretary general’s constant position.”
When asked if the United Nations was monitoring the situation, Dujarric said: “Yes, we’re obviously following it closely.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first reaction to the violence that began on Sunday, appealed for peace and calm in Delhi. He said he has reviewed the situation and that security forces have been working towards ensuring “normalcy”.
The violence began after huge groups of people supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act clashed with those opposing it. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra is accused of instigating people after he gave a three-day ultimatum to the Delhi Police to ensure that the streets of Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh were cleared of those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The protestors had been sitting outside the Jaffrabad metro station in North East Delhi since Saturday night as they emulated the two-month-old Shaheen Bagh demonstration in South Delhi, where women have also blocked a road to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens.