Wednesday, May 18

President Arif Alvi condemns burning of mosque by mob in New Delhi

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President Arif Alvi has condemned the burning of a mosque in New Delhi’s Ashok Nagar area during the violent clashes over India’s new citizenship law on Tuesday.

Protests against a contentious citizenship law began on a smaller scale on Sunday but escalated on Monday — as US President Donald Trump started his two-day trip to India — and Tuesday into running battles between Hindus and Muslims in New Delhi’s north-east, where rioters armed with stones, swords and even guns were out in force.

By Wednesday, the death toll from the violence increased to 20 and more than 200 people were reported injured.

A video — verified by AFP — circulating on social media on Tuesday showed men ripping off the muezzin’s loudspeaker on top of the mosque’s minaret and placing a Hanuman and an Indian flag. The Wire reported that a mob shouting “Jai Shri Ram” and “Hinduon ka Hindustan” paraded around the mosque as it burned. Copies of the Holy Quran were also burnt during the attack, AFP reported.

On Wednesday morning, AFP said that people were seen cleaning out the blackened and trashed interior of the mosque.

President Alvi, in a tweet late Tuesday night, said: “Another update of the disgraceful act. Vandalising a mosque! It seems to be a reminder to Muslims of the Babri Masjid episode.

“I think secular forces within India should rise against such barbaric actions.”

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