New Delhi: Violence sparked by the murder of teenager Nahel M. in France continued for the fifth day. Protests continue in the country. The police have arrested 719 people in connection with the riots. At the same time, out of about 45,000 policemen deployed for several days to control the violence, 45 policemen were injured during the action. France’s interior ministry confirmed 719 arrests overnight.
Unrest in Switzerland and Belgium too
While 1,300 arrests were made on Friday night. Meanwhile, neighboring Switzerland and Belgium also witnessed unrest amid echoes of the violence in France. Several shop windows were smashed in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Saturday, police said. The officers used force to disperse the youths. Youths threw stones and Molotov cocktails at shops. At the same time, about a dozen people have been detained in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The fire at many places was brought under control.
Emmanuel Macron’s state visit postponed
Unrest in France has prompted President Emmanuel Macron to postpone a state visit to Germany that was to begin on Sunday. A spokesman for the German president said Macron spoke on the phone with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday and briefed him on the situation. Interior Minister Gerald Dermanin tweeted that there was peace in the night due to the action of the security forces. Meanwhile, family and friends of teen Nahel M. gathered for the funeral in Paris on Saturday. A crowd had gathered outside the mosque near where his last rites took place.
Social media companies under scrutiny
Meanwhile, social media companies are once again under scrutiny. TikTok, Snapchat and other platforms have been blamed for helping fuel the mass riots. President Emmanuel Macron accused social media of playing a role in encouraging the violence. Macron blamed video games for the riots. He said the French government would work with social media sites to remove sensitive content and identify users who promote violence.