WORLD Sporadic violence in Delhi as death toll rises to 33

WORLD

Sporadic violence in Delhi as death toll rises to 33

AFP

17:21, February 27, 2020

Sporadic violence hit parts of Delhi overnight as gangs roamed streets littered with the debris of days of sectarian riots that have killed 33 people, police said Thursday.

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Security personnel stand guard at the riot-hit area following clashes between people supporting and opposing a cententious amendment to India's citizenship law, in New Delhi on February 27, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

Thousands of riot police and paramilitaries patrolled the affected northeast fringes of the Indian capital of 20 million people, preventing any major eruptions however.

The unrest is the latest bout of violence over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's citizenship law, which triggered months of demonstrations that turned deadly in December.

Sunil Kumar, director of the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, said Thursday the hospital registered 30 deaths while the chief doctor at Lok Nayak Hospital said three people had died there.

"All of them (at the GTB) had gunshot injuries," Kumar told AFP.

Kishore Singh, medical superintendent Lok Nayak Hospital, told AFP that 10 people were still in a serious condition there.

The new fatalities -- up from 27 on Wednesday -- were all from the violence on Monday and Tuesday when mobs of Hindus and Muslims fought running battles.

The initial violence erupted late Sunday.

Groups armed with swords and guns set fire to thousands of properties and vehicles.

Homes, shops, two mosques, two schools, a tyre market and a fuel station were torched.

More than 200 people were also injured.

According to a list from the GTB hospital seen by AFP, the victims are a roughly even mix of Hindus and Muslims, based on their names.

Delhi police spokesman Mandeep Randhawa told AFP that there was "no major incident" overnight, while the city's chief fire officer Atul Garg said they received 19 distress calls.

"In last three days 230 calls were received by the department from the region that included major incidents of arson," Garg told AFP.

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