In an unprecedented assault on democracy in the US, a mob of thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and clashed with security forces.
The clashes resulted in four deaths, including a woman who was shot by a police officer, whereas three others died in medical emergencies, Washington DC Police chief Robert Contee said. Also, multiple officers were injured in the attack in their bid to control the errant mob.
Notably, the protesters breached security and entered the Capitol building where the members of the Congress were counting and certifying the Electoral College votes. The protestors were unhappy with the defeat of President Trump in the recently concluded presidential elections in which Joe Biden emerged victorious.
Two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown. Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to safe locations. In a letter to colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said leaders of Congress have decided to resume the joint session tonight once the Capitol is “cleared for use”.
PM Modi expresses shock
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed shock at the incident and said that peaceful transfer of power must continue.
PM Modi tweeted: “Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”
Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 7, 2021
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced curfew earlier in the day after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Officials said the Capitol was secured, putting an end to nearly four-hour violent occupation by Trump supporters. Heavily armed police personnel were deployed to disperse the crowd.
The protesters at the Capitol started to disperse following the enforcement of curfew in the national capital. However, dozens of protesters remained on the streets in defiance of the curfew.
Twitter blocks Trump for 12 hours
Donald Trump, who earlier encouraged his supporters to head to the Capitol, urged them to abide by the law and go back home after the violent clash.
“This was a fraudulent election, but we cannot play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home,” Trump said in a video message posted on Twitter. The micro blogging site later removed the video and some tweets in which Trump appeared to defend the actions of his supporters.
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Twitter also locked President Trump’s account for 12 hours for the first time and warned that he could get kicked off permanently.
Attack on democracy, says Biden
Incoming US President Joe Biden said he was shocked and sad to see the US has “come to such a dark moment”.
“At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic,” Biden said in an address to the nation.
“Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now,” Biden said.
Through war and strife, America has endured much. And we will endure here and prevail now. pic.twitter.com/OvNOV0ogWG
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 6, 2021
“I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfil his oath and defend the Constitution by demanding an end to this siege,” he said.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here