Delhi riots: Toll rises to 42 as 4 more die in hospital; Friday prayers pass off peacefully

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: The official death toll in northeast Delhi’s riots rose to 42 on Friday with four more people dying at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital. The Jumma prayers, meanwhile, passed off peacefully. Policemen and
paramilitary forces kept a close watch, with drones deployed above, during the 10 hours of section 144 being relaxed.

The police are, however, still looking for AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked in the murder case of IB official Ankit Sharma. His mobile phone has been switched off and a man who was coordinating with the media on his behalf claimed he has not been in touch with him as well. On Friday, a forensic team, along with members of SIT, inspected the drain from where Sharma’s body had been recovered. The police suspect that Sharma was first killed and then his body dumped in the drain.

GTB’s medical director Dr Sunil Kumar told TOI they had recorded 38 deaths since Monday. Of these, 16 people have been identified and 12 are unknown. Seven had gunshot injuries, eight had blunt assault wounds, three had been stabbed, five had suffered burns, one had been stabbed and shot while the cause in four cases was unknown. He added that about 50 injured people were still in the hospital.

Lok Nayak Hospital has recorded three deaths and another death has been reported from
Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital in
east Delhi’s Shahdara. Dr Kishore Singh, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, said 56 injured people had been brought there in the past four days. One of them was brought dead while two died during treatment. Eleven people are still in hospital, he said.

“On Monday, when the riots began and patients started pouring in with serious injuries, there was some chaos. But within a day, a system was put in place for smooth triaging – deciding the order of treatment – depending on seriousness of the injuries and to manage the manpower needs. Some of the staffers who were on leave were asked to join immediately,” said a senior nursing staff at GTB Hospital.

This hospital, with 2,500 beds, is the largest in east Delhi. Due to its proximity to the areas where maximum violence took place, most of the injured were rushed to the hospital beginning Monday.

A senior official in the state health department said Wednesday onwards, when GTB Hospital’s emergency wing was running to near-full capacity, some of the patients with minor injuries were referred to Jag Pravesh Chandra and other hospitals. “Now, the government has also clarified that it will bear the cost of treatment for those injured in the riots even if they are being treated at private facilities,” he pointed out.

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