The death toll in the communal violence that rocked the national capital since Sunday rose to 38 on Thursday, with 11 more persons succumbing to injuries at various hospitals. The national capital was, however, spared any major clashes, shifting the focus on treatment, investigation, relief and rehabilitation.
A police spokesperson said 48 FIRs had been registered and 514 suspects detained or arrested for questioning so far. Special teams also carried out raids in the Delhi-National Capital Region to arrest rioters. Late in the day, a case of murder and arson was lodged against Aam Aadmi Party corporator Tahir Hussain and other unidentified persons at the Dayalpur police station.
While Mr. Hussain denied any involvement in the riots or the killing of an Intelligence Bureau man whose family had pointed fingers at him, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Kejriwal called for “double punishment” if any partymen are found involved.
Mr. Kejriwal also announced that the Delhi government will provide an ex gratia of ₹10 lakh to families of those who lost their lives in the violence. The government will also pay for the treatment of those injured at private hospitals under the Farishtey scheme now extended to riot victims. He also announced ₹5 lakh each for those sustaining permanent damage, and ₹2 lakh and ₹20,000 respectively for those with serious and minor injuries.
Mr. Kejriwal said the office of the Divisional Commissioner will be the nodal point for all relief and rehabilitation activities from the North East district headquarters.
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The investigation into the violence was transferred on Thursday to Delhi Police’s Crime Branch, and the cases will be probed by two Special Investigation Teams.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also held a review meeting after which it was decided that prohibitory orders under Section 144 will be relaxed for 10 hours on Friday as no major incident had been reported over 36 hours.
The Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi also held a review meeting with senior police officers . The L-G instructed the Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) to meet the injured persons and families of the deceased personally. Special Commissioner S.N. Srivastava visited Chand Bagh, one of the worst hit areas, to see the destruction caused by rioters and talk to residents. Around 350 meetings were conducted with local peace committees in the city.
Shops reopened in the riot-hit areas amid large scale deployment of police and paramilitary personnel. Civic agencies also began clearing roads strewn with burnt vehicles and debris.
However, people in the violence-hit areas remained fearful. Many residents stayed away though the police had been deployed. Residents also complained that the police had not responded to their calls to the emergency “100” number since Monday.
The Central Board of Secondary Education 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 north-east Delhi. It also announced fresh exams for students who have not been able to appear for the papers in other parts of the national capital due to the violence.
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