Death toll rises to 20 from riots in Indian capital

At least 20 people have been killed in the Indian capital during violent clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups over a new citizenship law, a hospital official told Reuters, even as an eerie calm descended in riot-torn areas on Wednesday.

“There are 20 people dead and 189 injured,” a senior doctor from the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital told Reuters on Wednesday.

Separately, an official at the Al-Hind Hospital in New Delhi told Reuters the facility had treated more than 200 injured people since Monday, many with severe injuries.

After some of the worst violence in the capital in decades, police used tear gas, pellets and smoke grenades, but struggled to disperse stone-throwing mobs.

On Wednesday, parts of the riot-hit areas were deserted, and a Reuters witness saw paramilitary and police forces deployed in much greater numbers.

Reuters witnesses saw mobs wielding sticks, pipes, and stones walking down streets in parts of northeast Delhi on Tuesday, amid incidents of arson, looting and stone-pelting. Thick clouds of black smoke billowed from a tyre market that was set ablaze, as fire trucks rushed to control the flames.

Shots could be heard in the area and many of the wounded had suffered gunshot injuries, hospital officials said.

However, there were no immediate reports of any fighting on Wednesday.

“The situation is relatively better than yesterday in the violence-hit areas,” Atul Garg, the director of the Delhi fire department told Reuters on Wednesday, adding the fire department had stationed more vehicles and senior officials in the area.

“There are no rioters on the streets and our vehicles have been able to reach the area,”  Reuters

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