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Modi calls for calm as Delhi riots kill 20 » Capital News

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, NEW DELHI, India, Feb 26 – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for calm Wednesday after Delhi’s worst sectarian violence in decades left at least 20 people dead and calls for a military curfew.

This week’s battles between Hindus and Muslims have seen mobs armed with swords, guns and acid raze a northeastern district of the Indian capital.

The clashes, which also left almost 200 injured, were triggered by protests against a citizenship law seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda.

They exploded into brutal violence on Monday and Tuesday, with residents forced to flee their homes after seeing their homes destroted and a mosque attacked.

“I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important… calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest,” Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, a political opponent, called for the army to be deployed and for a curfew to be imposed over the flashpoint areas.

“Police, despite all its efforts, (are) unable to control situation and instil confidence,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Fear, anger
Sunil Kumar, the director of the hospital where many of the wounded were taken, told AFP on Wednesday that almost 60 had gunshot injuries.

On Wednesday morning residents cleaned out the blackened interior of a trashed mosque, including a charred Koran, burned out during the violence in the Ashok Nagar area.

A video circulated on social media and verified by AFP showed men ripping off the muezzin’s loudspeaker on top of the mosque’s minaret and installing a Hindu religious flag.

Locals accused the police of doing nothing to help – or worse.

“We tried to make many calls to the police… that people are entering our neighbourhoods chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’,” said Naeem Malik, referring to a popular Hindu chant.

“But police did not help us at all. We tried to save the women at the protest site but instead policemen started beating us up,” Malik said, showing wounds on his leg and hands.

Elsewhere a fire engine tried to put out blazes from the previous night, the air thick with smoke from still-smouldering cars, motorbikes, shops and homes.

“They say we are not Indians but we are Indians by blood,” Farhat, 22, a student in Islamic studies, said in her father’s shop as police looked on.

“We are afraid, we left our homes. There is no police in the streets at night, just during the day.”

The area is home to mostly poorer economic migrants living in many shanty neighbourhoods, and some fled on Wednesday ahead of more expected clashes.

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“It is better to leave than to stick around here. Why would we want to die here?,” a tailor told AFP, adding that he was returning home to his village in northern India.

‘Politics of hate’
The unrest comes amid growing concerns at home and abroad about the direction of India and the future of its 200 million Muslims since Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP swept to a second term last year.

Sonia Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress party, on Wednesday accused BJP figures of giving “inflammatory speeches spreading an atmosphere of hatred and fear”, including in Delhi city elections this month.

Congress “appeals to the people to reject the politics of hate,” Gandhi said, calling Home Minister Amit Shah, Modi’s close ally, “responsible” for the riots.

Since winning a second term, Modi’s government has revoked the partial autonomy of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and said it wants to conduct a nationwide citizens’ register to weed out “infiltrators”.

Together with the citizenship law, which fast-tracks claims for persecuted non-Muslim religious immigrants, this has stoked fears that Modi’s master plan is to remould India as a Hindu nation, something he denies.

The citizenship law has sparked months of nationwide protests as well as clashes that killed more than 25 people in December.

In recent weeks sit-ins, mostly by women, have sprung up.

The flare-up in violence occurred as US President Donald Trump visited India and held talks with Modi in Delhi on Tuesday. But Trump left as scheduled on Tuesday and his visit was not visibly interrupted by the violence.


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Curfew: Leaders fault police for using excessive force – KBC

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Political leaders in the country have faulted the manner in which the National Police Service implemented the dusk to dawn curfew on Friday.

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Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi faulted police officers for allegedly employing excessive force in the enforcement of the dusk to dawn curfew that kicked off Friday.

Mudavadi says the police action could prove counterproductive in ongoing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as it might place police at war with the citizens.

“The police have gone about it in the manner that is extremely inconsiderate and inhumane. They give an impression that they are dealing with a hostile population that must be cowed in through brutal force. It is useful to remind the Government that it is not at war with its citizens,” said ANC leader Mudavadi.

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Mudavadi called on the Government to re-evaluate and look into mechanisms of ensuring Kenyans have access to basic commodities such as food.

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Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula asked the Inspector General of Police to ensure no human right abuses occur when enforcing the curfew.

“IG Mutyambai ensure there are no human rights abuses in the pretext of enforcing the curfew. Kenyans are already traumatized by Coronavirus and need no further stress. Police should escort those caught off guard to their homes and not beat them up,” said Wetangula.

“When the President declared a 7 pm to 5 am curfew it was meant to enhance efforts to check Covid-19. The police who are using this as an excuse to brutalize people are criminally culpable,” he added.

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Stop beating Kenyans during curfew, leaders tell police : The Standard

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Leaders across the political divide have condemned the brutality meted out on Kenyans by police officers who were enforcing a government’s curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus diseases.
Led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, the leaders said the action of the police as was witnessed on Friday evening defeated the very purpose of the curfew. 
The Elegeyo Marakwet senator said the police action, endangered the lives of many Kenyans, saying lumping people together could have led to more infections if one of them was suffering from coronavirus.
SEE ALSO :China virus cases spike, 17 new infections reported“Before we even discuss the violence, if any of them was positive, he or she must have infected so many. This is primitive,” he said, adding that if one or two of the Kenyans in this crowd were positive,  then the multiplying effect will be catastrophic.
He told Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to borrow a leaf from his Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe by providing leadership and instilling order and discipline among the officers during the curfew.
“CS Kagwe has demonstrated great leadership during the coronavirus outbreak with timely updates to Kenyans, those charge of our security must take the queue and enforce the curfew with a human face while respecting the rule law, he said adding that the action of the police as was witnessed in Likoni and other parts of our country is counterproductive.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
He said the curfew was declared by President Uhuru Kenyatta to curb the spread of the coronavirus and not to torture Kenyans.
Murkomen said the officers must stop acting like they harbour grudges against Kenyans and the curfew has provided them with an opportunity to revenge.
SEE ALSO :China confirms virus spreading between humans“The curfew is meant to curb the spread of coronavirus not to torture Kenyans. The security managers are behaving as though they have a grudge against Kenyans and are curfew as an excuse for revenge. It must stop forthwith,” said Murkomen.
Siaya Senator and Senate Minority Leader James Orengo told off the police for violating the rights of Kenyans in the name of enforcing a curfew, adding that the curfew has not suspended the law.
“A state of emergency does not by itself ineluctably limit or suspend the Bill of Rights. There must be legislation. In any case, national security must be pursued in compliance with the rule of law and human rights. Police must not enforce the curfew with might but love and fight Covid-19,” Orengo tweeted
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi told the police to spare Kenyans the beating saying majority of citizens are already economically distressed and that any brutality will break their hearts.
Mudavadi said what Kenyans want in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is love and civility and not the brutality witnessed on Friday.
SEE ALSO :Factbox: What we know about the new coronavirus spreading in China and beyond “Kenyans are already economically distressed and now terrified of covid-19. They need help and guidance. Enforcement of the curfew does not mean terror and brutality to the mwanainchi. Treat the citizenry with civility,” said Mudavadi
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang condemned the brutality and told the law enforcers not to confuse Kenyans with the coronavirus.
“Police brutality witnessed this evening across the country is unacceptable. Police must not appear to confuse wanainchi for coronavirus. Even as we urge Kenyans to adhere to the directives and guidelines issued by the government, rule of law and common sense must prevail at all times,” said Governor Sang.
Cases of police brutality have been witnessed in certain parts of the country as the nationwide curfew took effect on Friday evening.
Police spokesman Charles Owino has however defended the officers, saying there was no brutality as being claimed.
SEE ALSO :Travelers to be screened for ‘Chinese’ coronavirus- GovernmentSpeaking on one of the TV stations on Friday night, Owino said the police are well trained and knows when to use force and to what extent and that what was witnessed was the enforcement of the law.
He cautioned Kenyans against ignoring the curfew, saying they will not hesitate to arrest anyone flouting the directives.
“If you walk at night, we will arrest you. We have enough cells. If the cell in Central is full, we will take you to Kayole. If it is full, we will even take you to Machakos,” he said.
Police and commuters clashed at the Likoni ferry in Mombasa Friday afternoon, a scenario occasioned by overcrowding as residents rushed to beat the curfew deadline.
The situation was no different in Kisumu and Eldoret towns as police teargassed Kenyans for flouting the curfew rules.
Photos and clips of police beating up Kenyans who allegedly failed to adhere to the curfew emerged online with netizens condemning the police for using excessive force in handling Kenyans.

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Stop brutalising Kenyans during curfew, leaders tell police : The Standard

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Leaders across the political divide have condemned the brutality meted out on Kenyans by police officers who were enforcing a government’s curfew to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, the leaders said the action of the police as was witnessed on Friday evening defeated the very purpose of the curfew. 
Police and commuters clashed at the Likoni ferry in Mombasa Friday afternoon, a scenario occasioned by overcrowding as residents rushed to beat the curfew deadline.
SEE ALSO :China virus cases spike, 17 new infections reportedThe situation was not different in Kisumu and Eldoret towns as police teargassed Kenyans for flouting the curfew rules.
Photos and clips of police beating up Kenyans who allegedly failed to adhere to the curfew emerged online with netizens condemning the police for using excessive force in handling Kenyans.
The Elegeyo Marakwet senator said the police action, endangered the lives of many Kenyans, saying lumping people together could have led to more infections if one of them had contracted coronavirus.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
“Before we even discuss the violence, if any of them was positive, he or she must have infected so many. This is primitive,” he said, adding that if one or two of the Kenyans in this crowd were positive,  then the multiplying effect will be catastrophic.
He told Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to borrow a leaf from his Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe by providing leadership and instilling order and discipline among the officers during the curfew.
SEE ALSO :China confirms virus spreading between humans“CS Kagwe has demonstrated great leadership during the coronavirus outbreak with timely updates to Kenyans, those in charge of our security must take the queue and enforce the curfew with a human face while respecting the rule of law.”
Murkomen added that the action of the police as was witnessed in Likoni and other parts of the country is counterproductive.
He said the curfew was declared by President Uhuru Kenyatta to curb the spread of coronavirus, not to torture Kenyans.
Murkomen said officers must stop acting like they havea a grudge against Kenyans and the curfew has provided them with an opportunity for revenge.
Siaya Senator and Senate Minority Leader James Orengo told off the police for violating the rights of Kenyans in the name of enforcing a curfew..
SEE ALSO :Factbox: What we know about the new coronavirus spreading in China and beyond“A state of emergency does not by itself ineluctably limit or suspend the Bill of Rights. There must be legislation. In any case, national security must be pursued in compliance with the rule of law and human rights. Police must not enforce the curfew with might but love and fight Covid-19,” Orengo tweeted
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi told the police to spare Kenyans the beating, saying majority of citizens are already economically distressed and that any brutality will break their hearts.
Mudavadi said what Kenyans want in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is love and civility and not the brutality witnessed on Friday.
“Enforcement of the curfew does not mean terror and brutality to the mwanainchi. Treat the citizenry with civility,” said Mudavadi
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang condemned the brutality and told the law enforcers not to confuse Kenyans with the coronavirus.
SEE ALSO :Travelers to be screened for ‘Chinese’ coronavirus- Government“Police brutality witnessed this evening across the country is unacceptable. Police must not appear to confuse wananchi for coronavirus. Even as we urge Kenyans to adhere to the directives and guidelines issued by the government, rule of law and common sense must prevail at all times,” said Governor Sang.
Cases of police brutality have been witnessed in certain parts of the country as the nationwide curfew took effect on Friday evening.
Police spokesman Charles Owino has however defended the officers, saying there was no brutality as being claimed.
Speaking on one of the TV stations on Friday night, Owino said the police are well trained and know when to use force and to what extent.
He cautioned Kenyans against ignoring the curfew, saying they will not hesitate to arrest anyone flouting the directives.
“If you walk at night, we will arrest you. We have enough cells. If the cell in Central is full, we will take you to Kayole. If it is full, we will even take you to Machakos,” he said.

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