Delhi violence, day 5 | updates

Glimpses from the police flag march in Mauzpur.

Glimpses from the police flag march in Mauzpur.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Death toll climbs to 38; Delhi Police transfer riots probe to Crime Branch, form two Special Investigation Teams; AAP suspends councillor accused of involvement in killing of IB man.

The death toll in Delhi’s worst riots in more than three decades climbed to 38 as the violence ebbed but did not subside completely and thousands of people began picking up the pieces of their shattered lives and livelihoods.

Four days after communal clashes that began in northeast Delhi over the amended citizenship law and spiralled into bloodshed, arson and looting, the body of a man was found in a drain in Johri Enclave and there were scattered incidents of vehicles and shops being set on fire in Maujpur, Bhajanpura and other areas.

Also read: How the situation in Delhi deteriorated on February 25 and 26

While there was no precise figure for the number of arrests, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court that 48 FIRs were lodged in relation to the violence.

Delhi Police transferred the riots probe to the Crime Branch and formed two Special Investigation Teams.

The opposition Congress took the issue to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Accusing Home Minister Amit Shah of “abdication of duty”, a Congress delegation led by party chief Sonia Gandhi urged President Ram Nath Kovind to call for his resignation and remind the Centre of its “raj dharma“.

“The situation is returning to normal. We are here to reassure people that we are with them,” newly appointed Special Commissioner S N Shrivastava, who visited the affected areas, told reporters.

 

Here are the latest updates:

10 pm

IB staffer death: AAP suspends Tahir Hussain till police probe is complete

The AAP has suspended its councillor Tahir Hussain, who is accused of being involved in the death of an IB staffer, from the primary membership of the party till police probe is completed, AAP sources said.

Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma was on Wednesday found dead in a drain in northeast Delhi’s riot-hit Chand Bagh area where he lived.

Following the allegations, police have charged Hussain with murder.

The sources said Mr. Hussain has been suspended from the primary membership of the AAP till police probe is completed.

9.50 pm

No major incident reported in last 36 hours, declares Union Home Ministry

No major incident was reported from the northeast district of Delhi in the last 36 hours, the Home Ministry has said. The Ministry issued a statement around 10 p.m. after Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the situation in the violence-hit parts of the city in a meeting with senior officials and the top police brass.

The Ministry said there was no major incident in last 36 hours in any affected police station of Delhi’s northeast district, while 514 suspects were either arrested or detained for questioning.

Further arrests would be made in the course of investigation, the MHA said.

Prohibitory orders imposed under section 144 of the CrPC will be relaxed for a total of 10 hours Friday in view of improvement in the situation, it said.

9.15 pm

Case filed against Kapil Mishra in Muzaffarpur court

A case was filed on Thursday against BJP leader Kapil Mishra in a Muzaffarpur court in Bihar for allegedly making inflammatory speeches that led to the outbreak of violence in Delhi.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Mukesh Kumar posted the matter for hearing on March 12, two days after the festival of Holi.

In his petition, M. Raju Nayyar, who claims to be a social worker and a resident of Muzaffarpur town, said the BJP leader had allegedly made an inflammatory speech at a public meeting on February 23 in Delhi's Jafarabad area, in which he asked policemen to vacate a road blocked by anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters.

The petitioner said the BJP leader had told the policemen that if they could not get the road cleared, he would get it done with the help of his supporters.

The complaint has been filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with sedition, murder, attempt to murder, cheating, criminal conspiracy and assault or criminal force to deter public servant from the discharge of his duty.

Mr. Mishra, a former AAP MLA who unsuccessfully contested the recent Assembly polls on a BJP ticket from Model Town, had led a gathering in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act at Maujpur Chowk in Jafarabad in the national capital on Sunday, after which violence erupted between pro and anti-CAA groups.

During his pro-CAA demonstration at Maujpur Chowk, Mr. Mishra had also issued an ultimatum to the police to vacate the roads blocked by anti-CAA protesters in Jafarabad and Bhahanpura areas within three days, and warned that he will return to the streets if no action was taken

8.45 pm

Case registered against AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, others

A case of murder and arson has been registered against AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and other unidentified persons at Dayalpur Police station. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) will probe the case.

8. 15 pm

BJP accuses Sonia Gandhi of instigating violence

The BJP on Thursday hit out at the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for “politicising” the riots that has claimed over 30 lives in north-east Delhi and left over 200 injured. It accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of instigating violence by using phrase “aar ya paar” (fight to the finish) at a rally in December last. 

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, at a presser at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, demanded to know why other political parties were silent on the attack on policemen who were present in north-east Delhi and on the death of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma. “In such a situation, the duty of all political parties should be to consolidate peace,” he said. 

Taking on the AAP, which governs Delhi, he said its MLAs should have worked for peace. Instead, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal identified the riot victims by religion in the Assembly.

Read more
 

8.05 pm

Death toll due to violence rises to 38

Eleven more fatalities have been recorded at three hospitals, taking the total death toll in the northeast Delhi communal over the amended citizenship law to 38 on Thursday, according to senior officials.

While 34 deaths were recorded at the GTB Hospital in Dilshad Garden, three have been recorded at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and one death has been recorded at Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital.

Here is a press statement from GTB Hospital.

Delhi violence, day 5 | updates

Read more
 

7. 45 pm

Delhi Waqf Board to set up relief camps, distribute ration kits in violence-hit areas

The Delhi Waqf Board will set up relief camps in violence-hit areas of the city and distribute ration kits in the affected areas, member of the Board Himal Akhtar said.

As directed by Delhi Waqf Board chairman Amanatullah Khan, the relief camps would be set up in areas in northeast Delhi that were affected by the riots. Distribution of milk and biscuits for children and ration kits have also started, Mr. Akhtar said.

“Many people have lost their houses and are left to fend for themselves as their work has also been affected. We have set up teams to provide ration kits and other items like milk to the riot-affected people,” he said.

Mr. Akhtar said medicines would also be distributed along with items of daily use. The Board would also provide treatment to the injured, if needed, he added.

Thirty-four people were killed and over 200 injured in the communal clashes that broke out in northeast Delhi four days ago.

Frenzied mobs torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at local residents and police personnel. Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar were among the areas worst-hit by the violence.

7.30 pm

Ram Paswan seeks impartial probe into Delhi violence

BJP ally and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday demanded an “impartial probe” into the Delhi violence, which has claimed at least 34 lives, and said stringent action should be taken against the guilty irrespective of their caste and religion.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader said the visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to riot-hit areas to interact with locals and review the security measures underlines the Union government’s seriousness in the matter.

Analysis | LJP shows signs of breaking ranks with the BJP ahead of polls

“I strongly condemn the violence seen in Delhi over the last few days. It happened when a foreign guest [U.S. President Donald Trump] was in the country. An impartial probe should be conducted, and stringent action be taken against the guilty irrespective of their caste and religion,” Mr. Paswan tweeted in Hindi.

In another tweet, the Minister welcomed a resolution passed by the Bihar Assembly seeking a caste-based census in 2021.

7.15 pm

Delhi violence, anti-CAA protests have not dampened investor sentiment: Finance Minister

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said investor sentiment has not been dampened by the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests and the recent Delhi violence.

Addressing a press conference here, she said the investors she met in her recent visit to Saudi Arabia expressed willingness to invest more in the country.

When asked about the Delhi violence and the anti-CAA protests, Ms. Sitharaman said, “The sentiments of foreign investors have not been dampened.”

On the possible impact of the COVID-19 scare on the industry and the economy, the Finance Minister said there is none as of now.

“However, if the situation doesn’t improve in the next two months, there may be shortage of raw material. We are working on how to address the issue and help the industry,” she added.

7 pm

CPI(M) writes to Kejriwal, offers help in maintaining peace; seeks all-party meet

The CPI(M) has written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal offering help in his efforts to restore peace in northeast Delhi, and urging him to convene an all-party meeting to “unitedly ensure communal harmony” in the city. The communal violence over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi has claimed 34 lives so far and has left over 200 people injured.

“We write to assure you of our party’s cooperation in efforts to bring peace and communal harmony to Delhi,” said the letter written by CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat and its Delhi state committee secretary K.M. Tewari.

“We request you to urgently convene an all-party meeting in Delhi to decide how we can unitedly ensure communal harmony and peace in the Capital,” the letter said.

Ms. Karat and Mr. Tewari have also said the Left party has started a house-to-house campaign with an appeal to maintain peace and harmony.

The duo also demanded immediate action against AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain who was allegedly behind the killing of an Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer during the violence.

“Immediate action must be taken against him by the police,” it said.

Mr. Hussain has denied the charges of the IB officer’s family.

6.45 pm

Delhi Police forms two SITs to probe violence; cases transferred to Crime Branch

The Delhi Police has transferred the northeast Delhi riots probe to the Crime Branch and has formed two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) for the same, officials said on Thursday.

The police has so far filed 48 FIRs.

Read more
 

6.15 pm

Lt. Governor asks Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) to meet families of victims

Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday directed the Delhi Police to ensure the continued adequate deployment of force, patrolling and area domination exercise and the swift and effective response to any situation in the violence that has erupted in northeast Delhi.

He also asked the police to ensure the prompt registration of FIRs and its expeditious investigation, the prevention of any untoward incident, strict enforcement of directions under Section 144, visible police presence with outreach and confidence building measures.

Mr. Baijal also asked the Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) to meet the families of the victims and ensure all possible assistance to them.

An official said Mr. Baijal also asked senior officers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Health Department and District Administration to assist Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) Sundari Nanda during her visit.

6.10 pm

CRPF personnel donate blood at GTB Hospital

Nearly three dozen CRPF personnel have donated blood at the GTB Hospital here to supplement its bank in view of the injured in the Delhi communal clashes being admitted to the facility, officials said.

They said a contingent of 50 personnel of the paramilitary were sent to the hospital on Tuesday, of whom 34 donated blood while the rest were asked to remain on standby.

“The donation was made in order to supplement the blood bank of the GTB Hospital where fatal and non-fatal casualties of the Delhi riots were being admitted since Monday,” a senior official of the force said.

Read more

6 pm

Turkey President denounces 'massacres' committed against Muslims in India

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit out on Thursday against the “massacres” of Muslims in India after communal riots in New Delhi left at least many dead.

“India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims? By who? Hindus,” Mr. Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara after violence broke out this week over the new citizenship law in northeast Delhi. - AFP

5.45 pm

UN rights chief expresses ‘great concern’ over CAA, urges leaders to prevent violence

The UN Human Rights Chief on Thursday voiced “great concern” over India’s amended citizenship law and the reports of “police inaction” in the face of communal attacks in Delhi, urging political leaders to prevent violence.

Updating the ongoing 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on human rights developments around the world, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also spoke about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

She said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) adopted last year by India’s Parliament was of “great concern".

“Indians in huge numbers, and from all communities, have expressed — in a mostly peaceful manner — their opposition to the Act, and support for the country’s long tradition of secularism,” she said.

“I am concerned by reports of police inaction in the face of attacks against Muslims by other groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters.

“This has now widened into broader inter-communal attacks, with 34 people killed since Sunday. I appeal to all political leaders to prevent violence,” said the former Chilean President.

The communal violence over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi has claimed 34 lives so far and left over 200 people injured. Frenzied mobs have torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at police personnel.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday that law enforcement agencies were working on the ground to prevent violence and ensure restoration of confidence and normalcy.

“Senior representatives of the government have been involved in that process. The Prime Minister has publicly appealed for peace and brotherhood. We would urge that irresponsible comments are not made at this sensitive time,” Mr. Kumar said.

In her statement on Jammu and Kashmir, Ms. Bachelet said some political leaders had been released and ordinary life may be returning to normal in some respects in the region.

She, however, said as many as 800 people were reportedly in detention, including political leaders and activists.

“Schools, businesses and livelihoods have been disrupted by the continued heavy military presence, and no steps have been taken to address allegations of excessive use of force and other serious human rights violations by security forces,” she said.

“The Indian government has partially restored mobile and Internet services, after an important decision by the Indian Supreme Court, but authorities continue to impose excessive restrictions on the use of social media,” she said in her statement.

India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 is its “internal matter". - PTI

5.30 pm

Delhi HC to hear plea for FIRs against 3 BJP leaders on April 13

The Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned to April 13 the hearing on a petition seeking FIRs against three BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches. The Central government and the Delhi Police have been given four weeks to file their affidavit on the issue.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar also allowed the Central government to become a party to the matter, following submissions by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

After the affidavit is filed by the police, which comes under the Union Home Ministry, petitioner Harsh Mander is expected to file his reply.

During the hearing, Mr. Mehta — who has been authorised by the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor to represent the Delhi Police — said the time was not “conducive” to file FIRs related to the alleged hate speeches as the priority right now was to ensure peace. The authorities had examined all the video clips related to the speeches and FIRs would be registered at an appropriate time.

Special Commissioner of Police Praveer Ranjan submitted that the police had registered 48 cases related to rioting, following which Mr. Mehta said all stakeholders were currently working to ensure normalcy and that any hurried intervention might not be conducive.

Mr. Mehta said the petitioner “in his wisdom” had picked only three speeches and that the police had received a large number of speeches alleged to be inflammatory in nature

Read more

5.20 pm

Mayawati wants SC-supervised probe into Delhi violence

BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday demanded a Supreme Court-supervised probe into the communal violence in parts of northeast Delhi and said the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government should pitch in together to compensate people for the losses suffered in the riots.

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said the police should be given a free hand to control the law and order situation in the national capital.

In a statement, she said the recent violence in northeast Delhi was much like the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “It is very sad and condemnable,” the statement said quoting Mayawati.

She alleged that under the garb of the riots, cheap politics was being played by the parties in the city, adding that the parties must desist from it.

Demanding a Supreme Court-supervised probe into the violence, she said the Centre and the Delhi government should together compensate for the loss of lives and property in the riots.

She would soon be writing a letter to the President in this regard, the statement added.

The Bahujan Samaj Party chief said the parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, must take stern action against its leaders for inflammatory statements.

5.15 pm

CBSE announces postponement of Class 10, 12 exams in northeast Delhi

The Central Board of Secondary Education has announced the postponement of Class 10 and 12 board examinations scheduled to be held on February 28 and 29 in up to 86 centres in violence-affected areas of east and northeast Delhi.

From March 2, examinations will be held as usual in all parts of the city.

The Board also provided relief to students who have already missed examinations earlier this week because they live in affected areas and were not able to travel to the examination centres in other areas. Fresh examinations will be held for these students, said a notification from the CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi.

He asked school principals to send the details to the concerned regional offices of the CBSE of all such students who missed their examinations so far in Delhi due to the difficult conditions.

Priscilla Jebaraj reports

5 pm

Delhi police’s inaction reminiscent of 1984: SAD MP Naresh Gujral

Shiromani Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the unresponsive attitude of the Delhi police to distress calls, not just from ordinary people caught in the violent riots in North East Delhi but also of having completely ignored his own pleas for a rescue mission for an acquaintance in Maujpur, on the night of February 26.

In his letter, addressed to Mr. Shah and copied to Delhi’s Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Mr. Gujral likened the situation to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, where too police apathy had exacerbated the violence.

“On 26th night, at around 11.30 p.m., I received a desperate call from an acquaintance that he and 15 other Muslims were trapped in a house near Gonda Chowk in Maujpur, and that a mob was trying to break into the premises,” wrote Mr. Gujral, whose party is an ally in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“I immediately called 100 to lodge a complaint and gave the police officer the phone number of the gentleman who called me. I explained the urgency of the situation and told the operator that I am a member of Parliament. At 11.43 p.m., I received a confirmation from the Delhi Police that my complaint had been received along with the reference number 946603. However, much to my disappointment, no action was taken on my complaint and those 16 individuals received no assistance whatsoever from the Delhi police. They fortunately managed to escape only because some Hindu neighbours came to the rescue. If this is the situation when a member of Parliament makes a complaint personally, it is not surprising that certain parts of Delhi continue to burn while the police stands by apathetically,” he added.

Read more

4.45 pm

Arvind Kejriwal announces ₹10 lakh ex gratia to families of those killed in Delhi violence

The Delhi government will give ₹10 lakh to the families of those who lost their lives in the communal violence in northeast Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday. He also said that the government will bear the cost of treatment of those injured in the violence and admitted to private hospitals.

Those seriously injured will get ₹2 lakh, the Chief Minister said.

"All injured in the riots will be treated free of cost in private hospitals, as well as under the Farishte scheme of the Delhi government Earlier, the scheme was only for road accident victims. The Delhi government will also start help desks and will provide food as well for people in riot hit areas," he said while addressing the media during a press conference.

Special camps would also be set up for people to get essential documents lost during instances of arson, Mr. Kejriwal said.

When asked about the alleged involvement of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Councillor Tahir Hussain in the riots, Mr. Kejriwal, said no rioter from whichever party they belong should be spared.

“If those involved in the riots are found to be from the AAP, give them double punishment,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

4.30 pm

OIC statement misleading and inaccurate: MEA spokesperson 

"OIC statement is misleading and inaccurate. Urge these bodies not to indulge in irresponsible comments," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a statement from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The OIC has condemned the violence in Delhi and alleged discrimination against Muslims.

4.15 pm

Relatives wait outside mortuary

Still to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones in violence in parts of northeast Delhi, relatives are anxiously waiting outside GTB hospital’s mortuary for the postmortem to be conducted before the bodies are handed over to them.

Family members of people, who are missing since the violence broke out, also have been asking hospital authorities to check whether were brought dead or are being treated.

Relatives of 35-year-old Mudassir Khan who have been waiting at the mortuary at GTB hospital said they are still to recover from the shock.

“We have been coming here since last two days. Yesterday, the in-charge IO said that files were ready and the post-mortem would be conducted. Today, we have been waiting here since 8 am and the post-mortem is underway.

“We hope to get the body soon. We will conduct the last rites today itself,” his nephew Arbaaz Khan said.

Talking about the situation in his area in Mustafabad, Arbaaz said with security deployment, it is returning to normal but there is still fear among people.

“No one is able to sleep peacefully. There is still fear. Children are not going to school, everyone is preferring to stay indoors and we are not even using our vehicles to commute. We are in shock over what happened within three days,” he said.

Mudassir was outside his house in Kardampuri on Monday when he was attacked by a mob, his family said. He sustained bullet injury on his head and was declared brought dead by doctors at GTB hospital. - PTI

A family relocating to safe place in Brijpuri area aftermath of violence.

A family relocating to safe place in Brijpuri area aftermath of violence.   | Photo Credit: Saurabh Trivedi

 

3.30 pm

Battleground Mustafabad

The scene on Thursday afternoon in Mustafabad in North East Delhi, three days after the violence in this area on Monday.

The scene on Thursday afternoon in Mustafabad in North East Delhi, three days after the violence in this area on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Amit Baruah

Muslims have fled their houses in Mustafabad after many homes and a mosque were destroyed in mob violence on Monday. Residents complained that the police did not respond to their frantic calls.

Muslims have fled their houses in Mustafabad after many homes and a mosque were destroyed in mob violence on Monday. Residents complained that the police did not respond to their frantic calls.   | Photo Credit: Amit Baruah

The inside of a gutted mosque in Shiv Vihar, a stone’s throw from Mustafabad on Thursday afternoon.

The inside of a gutted mosque in Shiv Vihar, a stone’s throw from Mustafabad on Thursday afternoon.   | Photo Credit: Amit Baruah

 

A shuttered AAP office in Shiv Vihar.

A shuttered AAP office in Shiv Vihar.   | Photo Credit: Amit Baruah

 

3.00 pm

RSS general secretary Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi says, "Govt should ensure peace is restored. Nobody has right to take law into their hands." - PTI

Meanwhile, a school was set on fire.

A school was set on fire by mob in Brijuri area.

A school was set on fire by mob in Brijuri area.   | Photo Credit: Saurabh Trivedi

 

2.45 pm

Delhi HC hears petition seeking FIRs for 'hate speeches'

The Delhi High Court Chief Justice D.N. Patel held the Thursday hearing on the petition seeking FIRs against three BJP leaders for alleged hate speeches. Chief Justice D.N. Patel. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Delhi Police, reiterated his plea from yesterday, seeking more time to decide on registering FIRs, as right now the priority was maintaining law and order.

Devesh K. Pandey reports.

2.30 pm

CBSE to conduct fresh exams for students who failed to appear

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct fresh exams for students who have not been able to appear for papers in other parts of the national capital due to the violence in northeast Delhi, officials said.

The board has sought details of students who failed to appear for exams due to the prevailing situation in the city.

“The board has asked school principals to send the details to regional offices concerned of the CBSE of all such students of class 10, 12 who have missed out on the exams so far in Delhi, due to these difficult conditions,” CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi said.

“To reduce the stress on students, the board will conduct fresh exams for these students. The next date of exam for affected students will be notified shortly,” he added.

The communal violence over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi has claimed 34 lives so far and left over 200 people injured. - PTI

2.15 pm

Meghalaya Governor advises Tiananmen treatment for Delhi riots

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has suggested India could use China’s prescription for the Tiananmen Square protest to handle the communal violence in Delhi.

At least 300 people had died in June 4, 1989, after Chinese soldiers cracked down on pro-democracy protestors, mostly university students, in Beijing’s landmark square.

“Remember Tienanmen Square, Beijing in 1988 (sic)? And how Deng Xiaoping handled it? Perhaps there is a lesson there on how to handle the engineered disturbances of NE Delhi! I’m sure all comrades will agree!” Mr Roy tweeted from his Twitter handle.

Read more

2 pm

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, three others to represent police in cases related to violence

Lt. Governor Anil Baijal has appointed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and three others to represent the Delhi Police in court cases related to the law and order situation in northeast Delhi, where communal clashes broke out over the amended citizenship law.

According to an order issued by the Home Department, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Kaur Acharya, senior lawyers Amit Mahajan and Rajat Nair will also represent the Delhi Police in such cases.

The communal violence in northeast Delhi has claimed 34 lives so far.

1.30 pm

Mosque ransacked

The ransacked Auliya Masjid in Shiv Vihar.

The ransacked Auliya Masjid in Shiv Vihar.   | Photo Credit: Jatin Anand

Read more: Stop irresponsible comments on Delhi violence, India tells U.S. critics

1.15 pm

Destruction everywhere

Destroyed schools, smouldering shops and buildings were a sight in the affected areas even on Thursday.

A destroyed school in Mustafabad.

A destroyed school in Mustafabad.   | Photo Credit: Amit Baruah

Many buildings in the area are still smouldering due to the communal clashes that began on Monday.

A picture of one such shop taken on Thursday afternoon.

A still smouldering shop, targeted on Monday, at Shiv Vihar.

A still smouldering shop, targeted on Monday, at Shiv Vihar.   | Photo Credit: Amit Baruah

 

12.20 pm

Sonia Gandhi-led Congress delegation meets Kovind over Delhi violence

A delegation led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday in which the party reiterated it's call to remove the Union Home Minister for the abdication of his duty and asked the President to protect the life and liberty of the citizens.

Briefing the media, Ms. Gandhi said that the party has handed over their demands to President Kovind in a memorandum.

"Centre and Delhi govt were mute spectators to violence which has taken the lives of 34 people. Businesses have fallen prey to looting," she said.

"The President said he will take cognisance of our demands, we feel fairly satisfied," added Ms. Gandhi.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, senior leaders A.K. Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidamabaram, Anand Sharma, Randeep Surjewala and K. Venugopal were part of the delegation.

Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also joined in during the media briefing. They also shared a copy of their representation.

 

12 noon

 

Comments by USCIRF, others on Delhi violence attempt to politicise issue: MEA

India on Thursday described the comments by a US commission on religious freedom and by “few individuals” over violence in the national capital as “factually inaccurate, misleading” and an attempt to politicise the issue.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar’s reaction came a day after the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed “grave concern” over the violence in Delhi and asked the Indian government to provide protection to people irrespective of their faith.

Read more
 

 

11.50 am

 

As the situation in violence-hit parts of norteast Delhi returned to normal, citizens took to streets to clean up the debris from the riots in the preceding days.

 

As violence subsided, citizens clean up parts of Chandbagh in northeast Delhi

As violence subsided, citizens clean up parts of Chandbagh in northeast Delhi   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

 

 

As violence subsided, citizens clean up parts of Bhajanpura in northeast Delhi

As violence subsided, citizens clean up parts of Bhajanpura in northeast Delhi   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

 

 

11.30 am

Paramilitary personnel provide security cover for last journey of man killed in Delhi clashes

Amid an eerie calm in northeast Delhi’s Shiv Vihar, where communal violence broke out four days ago, 26-year-old Rahul Solanki’s body was taken to a crematorium by his distraught kin and armed paramilitary personnel.

Solanki, who was pursuing his LLB from a private college in Ghaziabad, had stepped out on Monday to buy milk. He died after he was shot in the right shoulder near his neck, his father Hari Singh Solanki said.

“We took his body home from GTB Hospital. We wanted police and paramilitary forces to give us protection till we reached the crematorium to perform his final rites,” he said on Wednesday.

Senior police officers present in the area had assured the family members that they will be provided security.

A friend of Rahul, who was with him when he was shot, said they could not see who fired at him.

“We saw a mob approaching us and began to run. We were barefeet and Rahul went to put on his slippers. While he was putting them on, some unidentified persons shot him dead,” he said.

- PTI

 

11 am

 

Shops shut, eerie calm prevails in riot-hit areas of northeast Delhi

Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in northeast Delhi, even as an eerie calm prevailed across the neighbourhoods in Jaffarabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Gokulpuri and surrounding areas, with the death toll reaching 32 on Thursday.

Most shops were closed with their shutters bearing marks of the violence that it had witnessed over the last few days and people chose to stay indoors.

As police conducted flag marches and security personnel spread out across the northeastern edge of the national capital in a bid to quell the violence raging since Sunday.

- PTI

10.30 am

19 calls received from violence-hit northeast Delhi between 12-8 a.m.: Delhi Fire Service

The Delhi Fire Service received 19 calls from midnight to 8 a.m. on Thursday from riot-hit areas of northeast Delhi, an official said.

Over 100 firemen are deployed in the area and all the four fire station in the area are provided with extra fire tenders to meet any emergency and are being managed by senior officers, Director of Delhi Fire Service Atul Garg said.

Senior officers are also camping in the riot-affected area, he added.

- PTI

10.15 am

Hope that the hospital release the body on time, says a victim's relative

”We have been here since Tuesday and it’s been hell," said Sajid, whose nephew Salman (32), died at GTB hospital on Thursday morning.

"The family was getting ready for his marriage. His parents are shattered. He was caught in a mob attack while returning from work (he works as a tailor). Now our only prayer is that the hospital should please release the body on time, and don't prolong this agony for us,” he said.

 

10 am

GTB Hospital sees cases of breathing problems, palpitations

GTB Hospital saw several people from northeast Delhi come in with breathing problems and palpitation.

One of the patients, Arif, is accompanied with his wife. He complains of high blood pressure and rapid heart beat.

“I am too scared to stay at home. We have been here since Wednesday night. Today morning the doctors told me that I am anxious and that I should rest. How can I rest when houses across the road are burning and me and my family constantly feel that we are going to be attacked next, he said.

 

 

Families of deceased react...

Babu Salmani, 30, who died this morning at GTB Hospital in Delhi, was heading home for lunch when he was attacked by a mob, said his sister Nasreen, as the family is set to take his body to the village for cremation.

Babu Salmani's kin photographed outside GTB Hospital. His sister Nasreen (centre) says he was on his way to lunch when he was attacked

Babu Salmani's kin photographed outside GTB Hospital. His sister Nasreen (centre) says he was on his way to lunch when he was attacked   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“He was heading home on Tuesday afternoon for lunch in his auto when he was attacked by a mob. He fought for his life two days in the hospital and died today morning,” said his sister Nasreen. He leaves behind three young children.

 

Why is the poor bearing the brunt of hate, asks brother of a victim

Munijid, whose brother Musharraf, was killed on Tuesday, says his brother was surrounded by a mob, beaten to death and his body was thrown into a drain in North east Delhi.

“It’s the poor who is getting killed. Show me one politician or a rich man who has died. Why is the poor bearing the brunt of hate?” he asks.

 

 

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 7:36:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-violence-day-5-live-updates-death-toll-climbs/article30928743.ece

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