The Delhi Police releases details of 37 people killed in the recent riots in the northeastern part of the city, a day after the violence subsided. Among those who lost their lives is one police official, while the other 36 are civilians. The majority of the victims (21) died of gunshot wounds, four each of "stabbing injuries" and "assault", three due to "assault with burns" while the cause of death was not known for four people.
Of the deceased, 15 were Muslims and 10 were Hindus, while the religious identities of the others is not clear. A man stands near charred remains of a vandalised property set ablaze by rioters in Delhi.
The youngest victim, Aman, was 17, while two 70-year-olds were the oldest victims. Twenty-nine of the deceased were male, one female, while the gender of the others was not known.
Thirty-four of the victims were declared dead at the Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, while the rest were declared dead at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital.
Medical Superintendent of GTB Hospital Sunil Kumar said, “Over 215 riot victims have been brought to our hospital and treated since 24 February. However, at present only 51 patients are admitted. The condition of almost all patients is stable except one.”
A total of 113 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and Delhi Police are deployed in the strife-torn areas of the national capital to maintain law and order, the Union Home Ministry said on Thursday.
The Ministry said that the deployment of the security personnel was made a day after the deadly violence broke out in various areas of northeast Delhi that include most affected localities of Bhjanpura, Chand Bagh, Maujpur, Kardampuri, Jafrabad, Ashok Nagar, Shiv Vihar and many other nearby places.
Asserting that the “situation is under control”, the Ministry said that a total of 73 companies of CAPF or paramilitary forces were deployed in the city on Monday in addition to 40 companies of Delhi Police.
One company of CAPF or Delhi Police consists of around 105 to 115 personnel.
As per the calculation, a total of 113 companies or around 12,000 security personnel from CAPF and Delhi Police have been deployed in the violence-hit areas.
The Ministry’s clarification came after reports in some sections of media raised questions about the shortage of police personnel in the city which led to the turmoil in the city which began after a clash between groups of anti-CAA or pro-CAA supporters.
“As against cited shortages of police personnel in Delhi, it is stated that there is adequate strength of forces on the ground since this Monday. Based on the professional assessment, 73 companies of CAPFs deployed in addition to 40 Coys of Delhi Police. The situation is under control,” Ministry spokesperson Vasudha Gupta said.
Several parts of northeast Delhi witnessed incidents of stone-pelting and firing from country-arms. The violence began on Sunday evening and it turned deadly on Monday and Tuesday leaving 36 people dead and over 200 injured.
The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) on Thursday organized relief camps for victims in the violence-hit areas of northeast Delhi.
The gurudwara provided langar and medicines to the people, who lost their homes, many their lives as rioters ran amok for four days.
DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that an emergency meeting of the Sikh committee was held on Thursday in which the decision was taken.
The Committee provided langar to families of police personnel and all the persons who are admitted in Guru TeghBahadur Hospital.
Sirsa said: “They may be Hindu or Muslim but we are directed by Guru Nanak Sahib to serve Humanity.” He also said that the DSGMC will use all its resources to serve these victims because “we understand their pain as in 1984 Sikh genocide we had faced the same”.
This came a day after the Akal TakhtJathedarGianiHarpreet Singh on Wednesday asked the Sikh gurdwaras in the national capital to extend all kind of possible help to the victims.
Flaying the violence in a statement, the Jathedar said: “the principle of Sikhism is to take care of any victim who comes for help”.
“Violence in Delhi is condemnable. There are reports of deaths and injuries to people. It is a principle of Sikhism to take care of any victim who comes for help. The situation in Delhi is serious and so the management of all Sikh Gurudwaras in Delhi should help the victims of violence in this time of grief irrespective of their religion..,” he added.
On Thursday, when the toll rose to 36 in the violence that erupted on February 23, Sirsa said: “We will try to defuse the crisis by mediating with the people. All the DSGMC representatives, members and staff are serving in relief camps.”
Apart from these measures, the DSGMC will also organize relief camps in various Gurudwara Sahib and a special camp at GurudwaraMajnuKaTilla where relief will be provided to the congregation.
The camera drones pressed into service by the police and security forces in the violence-affected neighbourhoods of east Delhi have been playing a crucial role in checking any further escalation in tension. The area has witnessed violent clashes around the CAA that has claimed over 30 lives so far.
According to sources, the local residents are also assisting the security forces in their bid to maintain peace by providing information on “suspicious elements and movements”.
On Wednesday night, security forces monitored the area with a drone camera. The residents were also approached by the security forces to assist them in controlling the tense situation.
Surveillance started with the help of drone cameras in Maujpur and Kabir Nagar areas as it got dark on Wednesday.
A Maujpur resident said: “The presence of paramilitary forces has brought a sense of security to the people here.”
“People here are feeling relieved due to the presence of security forces. We have also maintained vigilance in the streets along with security forces after midnight,” another resident said.
said that residents are coming forward to help the security personnel present in and around Maujpur. With the help of these people, police and paramilitary forces are trying to gather information about the miscreants.
Tension, however, still persists in Maujpur despite the presence of security forces and de-escalation of the violence.
All markets remained shut on Thursday and essential services such as schools, hospitals, banks, nursing homes, etc. remained affected. Public transport was not easily available as well.
Though the metro stations in and around Maujpur have now been opened for the convenience of the people, the locals, who are apprehensive about their safety, are still not stepping out of their homes.
Security forces instructed the locals to move out of their houses only if it is “very necessary”.
People said, “even as there is peace in the area, it is temporary”.
Delhi Police Special Commissioner SN Srivastava visited Chand Bagh, one of the worst violence-hit areas, to see the destruction caused by rioters and talk to the area residents.
Talking to Srivastava, the 1985-batch IPS officer widely tipped to be the next Commissioner of Delhi Police, the area residents put forth a charter of demands on which he assured of swift action and cooperation.
The residents complained of delay in police action during the violence and also demanded deployment of more police in their area.
They also requested him to set up more police booths in the areas so that people could approach them whenever needed.
Speaking to the media during his visit, Srivastava said: “Being the Special Commissioner, I came here to interact with the people. I have received a positive response from them.”
“The locals have assured me that they will do their best to maintain peace and harmony in the area through the peace committees. They have put forth various demands on the police, which we will look into,” he added.
The only untouched math and science notebook of a Class IV student lying on a bench in one of the two schools that were burnt during riots in Shiv Vihar reads, “Q1: Where are artificial satellites revolving? Ans: Around the earth.”
The notebook does not have the name of the student who seems to have forgotten to keep it in the bag when the administration of Rajdhani Senior Secondary School in Shiv Vihar hurriedly told them to leave.
The notebook is of math and science lesson and was lying on a bench on the first floor of the school. This school was first taken over by rioters and was vandalised when violence erupted in northeast Delhi on Sunday.
A petrol bomb launcher was immediately fixed on the rooftop of the Rajdhani Senior Secondary school and then the mayhem in locality started.
Once colossal damage was done, the rioters fled using ropes from the rooftop of the school building and then torched and another school, DRP School, adjacent to it.
This clearly exposes the Delhi Police callousness approach to the mayhem which was planned and executed.
The stench of burnt books, desk and table is still emanating out of classrooms. The walls once had pictures of cartoons like Mickey Mouse, Donald, Doraemon, motivational quotes have turned into complete black.
The notice boards in every classroom of DRP School which was tugged with various art and craft pamphlets are now completely charred.
The benches in the classrooms have turned into ashes and colourful walls into the black after petrol bombs by rioters were hurled into each classroom.
At Rajdhani Senior Secondary School, the window panes were broken, the books were burnt and the school principal room was looted and thereafter vandalised.
Both the schools are adjacent to each other and were completely gutted after they were set ablaze.
Caretaker of Rajdhani Senior Secondary School, ManojKalouni, 36, said he was trapped inside the school premises for almost 48 hours after the rioting started. He said the school owner Faisal Farooq visited the place on Thursday and consoled him.
Vijay Bahadur, 44, ferries school children of both the schools said that the schools came under attack around 3.30 p.m. on Monday. “The teachers who were present in the school fled from the back doors when stone and petrol bombs were hurled on the schools,” said Vijay.
Rioters took over the schools and despite locals calling police control room, there was no response. “Calls were not taken by the police control room. When calls got connected, we begged but police never came,” said Babloo whose school van was torched
A day after the Delhi High Court talked tough on alleged inaction of security forces during violence in northeast parts of the national capital, Delhi Police set up special teams that were conducting raids on Thursday in the NCR-Delhi to arrest the rioters.
Till now, around 250 persons were rounded up, but many were sent back home as their involvement in rioting was not found. Around 100 persons still in police custody had provided useful information on those involved in violence and arson and were absconding.
A DCP-rank officer said that the situation in the northeast Delhi had improved between Tuesday night and Wednesday and no untoward incident had been reported ever since. This had enabled authorities to spare police officials to conduct raids on Thursday to arrest the suspected rioters.
These teams comprise officers and jawans of police stations concerned, apart from those from the Special Cell and Crime Branch.
“Though teams are conducting raids to catch hold of all those involved in arson and looting, we are in particular looking for an area councillor who is absconding ever since his role in the violence came to light,” an Additional Commissioner of Police, who wished not to be named, said
An Assistant Commissioner of Police posted in northeast Delhi said that so far the death toll was over 30 in Guru TegBahadur Hospital and Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and that the district police was busy getting the post-mortems on the bodies conducted and completing other formalities.
An officer in the rank of Joint Commissioner of Police said they were raiding the possible hideouts of Shahrukh, who was caught on camera while brandishing a firearm and pressing it to the chest of security personnel. He had also allegedly fired several rounds in the air.
A manhunt was also launched to arrest those responsible for the killing of Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma, whose body was fished out from the Chandbagh drain. Ankit’s father Ravinder Kumar Sharma had allegedly named the absconding councillor as one of the rioters responsible for his son’s murder.
Several people living in violence-hit areas said that police was otherwise making excuses of getting busy in maintaining peace in the affected areas but the promptness it was now showing had come only after the High Court’s tough stand.