Delhi violence | Situation eases, police quell rumours

At least eight people remain unaccounted for in the affected areas.

March 01, 2020 07:24 pm | Updated June 19, 2020 06:26 pm IST - New Delhi

Police patrol a road near a partially burnt down building in a riot-affected area, in New Delhi on March 1, 2020.

Police patrol a road near a partially burnt down building in a riot-affected area, in New Delhi on March 1, 2020.

No fresh cases of violence were reported in the national capital on Sunday, a week after riots erupted in the northeastern areas .

Though four more bodies were recovered, the death toll that stood at 42 on February 28, has not been officially revised.

Even as those hit by the worst communal violence in the city since 1984 tried to pick up the pieces of their lives, at least eight people remain unaccounted for in the affected areas. Rumours of fresh violence briefly created panic in some areas in the evening but the Delhi police quickly quelled them.

Responding quickly to the volatile situation, the police tweeted: “It is to reiterate that these are all rumours.”

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which announced the closure of entry and exit gates of seven Metro stations due to “security reasons”, reopened them within 45 minutes.

Delhi violence | Looted, burnt out homes offer little welcome to Shiv Vihar’s riot victims

Stating that unsubstantiated reports of tension in the South East and West District were being circulated on social media, police said: “It is to reiterate that these are all rumours. Don’t pay attention to such rumours. Delhi Police is closely monitoring accounts spreading rumours and taking action.” 

The police said a total of 254 FIRs have been registered in various police stations of the North East district so far with all cases related to the riots that started on February 23. Delhi Police PRO M.S. Randhawa said 41 cases had been registred under the Arms Act and a total of 903 persons had been detained, including arrested persons.

“We have received no PCR calls of rioting in the last four days. Situation is normal and under control in all violence-affected areas,” said Mr. Randhawa.

Delhi violence | Agonising wait at mortuary for missing kin  | | A foot, a missing boy and bodies — the remains of the day

During the day, traffic was plying and several stores, which had been shut for a week, reopened in the riot-hit North East district of the capital. With a reduced deployment of security personnelcompared to the last few days, many residents ventured out of their homes for the first time. Shop owners reported that goods for sale were in short supply and some stores had reportedly hiked up prices.

The crowd outside GTB hospital’s mortuary however, showed no sign of thinning with families still desperately trying to locate “missing” relatives.

There was heavy police presence and barricading at Shaheen Bagh on Sunday as a precautionary measure after a right-wing outfit, the Hindu Sena, called for a clearing of the road where protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have been sitting since December 16. The group, however, later said it had called off the “clearance call” in view of the “ongoing law and order situation” in the Capital.

Also read | Board exams to resume in northeast Delhi; affected students can still get postponement: CBSE

The Delhi police imposed Section 144 in the area due to which a peace march planned on Sunday afternoon by the protesters of Shaheen Bagh “in deep mourning for the lives lost” and to show solidarity with all those effected by “inhumane violence” had to be called off.

The Shaheen Bagh march being called off was in sharp contrast to a march through Connaught Place on Saturday under the banner “Delhi Peace Forum” by several pro-CAA, right-wing outfits. The march which went through the heart of Delhi saw “provocative slogans” being raised. The Delhi police meanwhile said no permission had been granted for the march.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted saying “We r putting best efforts. I am personally trying to ensure that relief reaches each person in need. Our aim is to bring their life back on track. We want people to return to their homes and be welcome by their neighbours.”

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