At least 17 people, including one police officer, have been killed in violent communal clashes in the Indian capital between supporters and opponents of a new law that fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from select countries.
The unrest, which erupted in parts of New Delhi on Monday, coincided with a visit to India by US President Donald Trump.
Authorities deployed tear gas, as protesters hurled stones, damaged property and set numerous vehicles and a gasoline pump on fire, according to police, as the violence stretched into its second day.
On Wednesday morning, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s highest elected official, tweeted that police were “unable to control situation and instil confidence” despite ongoing efforts overnight, and requested that the military be called in and a curfew imposed in affected areas.
At least 150 people have been treated in hospital with various blunt force and bullet injuries since the violence began, according to a Delhi medical officer, who did not want to be named. Fifty of those wounded were from firearm injuries.
Seventeen people have been declared dead, including a police officer who died from a bullet injury to the head. That number is expected to rise as the counting process continues, Chief Casualty Medical Officer at Delhi’s Guru Tej Bahadur Hospital said Wednesday.
For months, Indians have been protesting over the controversial law, which gives Indian citizenship to asylum seekers from three neighboring countries — but not if they are Muslim. A number of people have died as part of the ongoing clashes.