LAHORE                     -            American President Donald Trump and his wife Melania on Monday landed in India’s Gujarat on the first day of their official visit to India. He was greeted by PM Narendra Modi

President Trump’s visit comes at a time when massive protests are taking place across India against PM Modi’s controversial decisions regarding new citizenship laws. No big deals are expected between Washington and New Delhi during Trump’s visit.

In December, Delhi passed a contentious new citizenship law granting amnesty to non-Muslim immigrants from three nearby countries. This prompted massive protests across the country, with critics accusing the government of marginalising India’s more than 200 million Muslims.

Protests are still continuing including in Delhi where a policeman was killed on Monday after violence broke out hours ahead of Mr Trump’s visit. Clashes had erupted between groups protesting against the citizenship law, and those in favour of it.

According to Indian media reports, a policeman was among three people killed in northeast Delhi violence on Monday. Following the death of the policeman, identified as Ratan Lal, during clashes in northeast Delhi, the violence also claimed life of a civilian, Mohammad Furqan, on Monday. Police have imposed prohibitory orders at ten locations in the area.

Over 20 people injured during a violent protest at Jaffrabad on Monday are receiving treatment at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. They were admitted in the casualty ward with serious injuries, one hospital official said.

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Union home minister Amit Shah called an urgent meeting of top officials of Delhi over the Jaffrabad violence, which started as pro and anti-CAA groups clashed.

“I appeal to everyone to stop violence as it will not lead to any solution. Whether it is people who are supporting CAA or those who are against it, I appeal everyone to maintain peace. Delhi’s brotherhood should remain intact,” BJ leader Kapil Mishra appealed to protesters.

Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal, who lost his life during clashes between two groups in Gokulpuri, was a native of Sikar in Rajasthan. He joined Delhi Police as constable in 1998. He was posted in the office of ACP, Gokalpuri. He is survived by his wife and 3 children.

Manmohan Singh will not attend official banquet

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not attend the official banquet hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind in honour of US President Donald Trump on February 25, Indian media reported on Monday.

Singh had earlier accepted the invite but expressed his inability to attend the same on Monday. He has conveyed his regret to the President’s office for not being able to attend the event.

Dancers welcomed Mr Trump as he arrived in the northern city of Agra.

US President Donald Trump, while addressing a packed rally in Ahmedabad after his arrival in India on Monday, said the United States has “a very good relation” with Pakistan and hopes to reduce tensions in the region.

“US and India are committed to stopping terrorists and fight their ideology. For this reason, since taking office, my administration is working in a very positive way with Pakistan to crack down on terrorist organisations and militants which operate on the Pakistani border,” said Trump.

“Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one. Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” said Trump on the first day of his whirlwind 36-hour visit meant to reaffirm US-India ties.

FO refutes news of Trump’s visit to Pakistan

Foreign Office Spokesperson Ayesha Farooqi said on Monday that United States President Donald Trump was unlikely to pay a visit to Pakistan.

She termed speculations of Trump’s visit to Pakistan as “false”.

The FO spokesperson welcomed the announcement of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal, and expressed hope that the agreement would bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Tens of thousands of people packed into a stadium in western India to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday as he began his first official visit to the country at a time when relations that have been buffeted by a trade dispute.

Trump landed in the western city of Ahmedabad, the political home of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to a raucous welcome, at the start of a two-day trip that will also take him to the Taj Mahal in Agra and Delhi for official meetings.

U.S. concerns that led last year to the suspension of India’s tariff-free access for some $5.6 billion in exports under the 1970s-era Generalized System of Preferences still remain, U.S. officials say.