Delhi riots toll rises to 38 as bodies are found in drains; over 400 detained

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: With more bodies being recovered from drains and people in hospitals dying of injuries, the death toll in the north-east Delhi communal riots rose to 38 on Thursday. However, no incident of violence has been reported since Tuesday night and life is slowly returning to normal. Prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 will be relaxed for 10 hours on Friday in view of the improvement in the ground situation.

Delhi Police has arrested over 130 people, detained over 400 and registered 48 FIRs. It has also booked Aam Aadmi Party councillor
Tahir Hussain and his associates in the case of murder of
Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma. He is yet to be arrested. Sharma’s case, along with other cases of riots, have been transferred to the crime branch and a special investigation team (SIT) — as reported by TOI on Thursday — has been set up to probe the case.

The SIT will also probe a “larger conspiracy”, which cops suspect was hatched over a period. Their suspicion has been strengthened by the recoveries made from the area which include improvised hand grenades tied with rope and “bottle bomb launchers” which resemble a big-size slingshot tied to trees or fences to make it look like swings. These arrangements could not have been made overnight, said a source.

Meanwhile, chief minister
Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday that Delhi government will bear all medical expenses of the riot victims even if they are admitted to private hospitals and give up to Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the kin of the dead and up to Rs 5 lakh each to those who have lost their houses and shops in the riots. Eighteen subdivisional magistrates (SDMs) have been deployed to monitor the relief and rehabilitation operations.

The Delhi LG on Thursday reviewed the situation and directed the police to ensure continued and adequate deployment of force apart from carrying out enhanced patrolling and area domination exercises.

Four teams of Delhi FSL — physics, biology, chemistry and photo — visited several spots in the area to lift samples. The authorities will now make efforts for quick disposal of burnt vehicles, lifting of malba, clearing of animal carcasses and repair of roads, signages, government assets and religious structures, in coordination with the police.

“The LG has also asked for setting up of sufficient number of shelter homes with basic amenities, including beddings, blankets, medicines, food, sanitation and clean drinking water, ensuring timely medico-legal certificates and post-mortem reports etc. to the victims and their families,” said a government official. The principal secretary (law) was asked to coordinate with the district legal services authorities to provide immediate legal aid to the victims.

Arrangements are being made in coordination with IHBAS for counselling of riot victims to treat those with post-traumatic stress disorder and any other issues. The LG has also asked the revenue department to adopt confidence-building measures and make a quick survey of the quantum of loss to individuals, families, business establishments, shops and institutions and ensure speedy compensation.

Special CP Sundari Nanda, assisted by East Delhi Municipal Corporation officials, health department and district administration, will meet the injured and families of the deceased personally and ensure that all steps are taken to provide them help.

Delhi Police has appealed to people residing in north-east Delhi that if they had witnessed violent incidents, they should come forward and share their ordeal and videos with the police. The locals can also send videos and pictures through WhatsApp on two mobile numbers —8750871221 and 8750871227.

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