Delhi violence: 1,300 held in connection with clashes; AAP govt sets up nine relief camps in parts of northeast district

Nearly 1,300 people have been arrested or detained so far in connection with last week's communal violence in northeast Delhi where 98 percent of the students appeared for board exams in the affected areas

Press Trust of India March 03, 2020 12:34:00 IST
Delhi violence: 1,300 held in connection with clashes; AAP govt sets up nine relief camps in parts of northeast district
  • Nearly 1,300 people have been arrested or detained so far in connection with last week's communal violence in northeast Delhi

  • The AAP government has set up nine relief camps for the victims in parts of northeast Delhi

  • On Monday, around 98 percent attendance was recorded in the board exams held in violence-hit areas, said the CBSE

New Delhi: Nearly 1,300 people have been arrested or detained so far in connection with last week's communal violence in northeast Delhi where 98 percent of the students appeared for board exams in the affected areas on Monday amid tight security.

Authorities maintained that the situation remained calm in the area with no fresh violence for past five days, even as police arrested 40 people across the national capital for allegedly spreading false rumours of violence that had triggered panic in the city on Sunday night.

Police have been conducting flag marches and holding meetings with locals in Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajanpura, Yamuna Vihar and Mustafabad which witnessed a deadly communal violence over the amended citizenship law last week. "The Delhi Police has registered 369 FIRs and arrested or detained 1,284 persons in connection with the northeast Delhi violence," an official said.

Delhi violence 1300 held in connection with clashes AAP govt sets up nine relief camps in parts of northeast district

A man sits on bench at a school, damaged during the recent communal violence, at Shiv Vihar. PTI

The police, however, did not reveal any information about those held, sparking demand by political parties and activists that they make public details of these people as per law.

On Monday, around 98 percent attendance was recorded in the board exams held in violence-hit areas, said the CBSE which had earlier postponed class 10 and 12 exams in northeast Delhi and parts of east Delhi till February 29 in the wake of the riots. According to an official, out of 2,888 students, 2,837 appeared for the physics and music papers.

Like Priya, a Class XII student who is a resident of Maujpur, many students said their preparations were affected due to the violence. "I had prepared for the exam but I didn't get sufficient time for revision due to the riot situation. I could not sleep or focus because there was so much fear in the locality," she said after her Physics exam.

Another student, Mohammad Aahil, said, "We had to leave our home in Karawal Nagar for Ghaziabad after the situation there turned tense. I didn't have my books and somehow studied using internet."

The schools are closed in the area till 7 March. The Board had on Sunday said any further delay may hamper chances of students in securing admission to professional courses like medical and engineering, though it is ready to conduct fresh exams for students who are not able to appear.

Authorities maintained that the death toll remained at 47 in the communal clashes, even as five bodies were fished out from drains in northeast Delhi on Sunday and kept at RML Hospital. According to a hospital official, the exact cause of death will be ascertained only after postmortem examination.

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Environment Minister Gopal visited riot-affected areas to take stock of the situation and interacted with locals. "We all should prioritise bringing back peace and tranquillity to restore normalcy," Baijal said during his visit and directed police to continue deployment and take effective measures to counter rumour mongers.

Rai visited a relief camp set up by the Delhi government at Mustafabad which has a capacity to accommodate 1,000 people. The AAP government has set up nine relief camps for the victims in parts of northeast Delhi. "We will set up more relief camps in other affected areas too if needed," Rai said.

The minister said he has come to know that some "innocent" persons have also been picked up by police. "Their relatives are running here and there in hospitals and police stations looking for them. We expect that this issue may be sorted out immediately. We want the guilty must be caught and punished at the same time the innocent should be spared," he said.

At the relief camps set up by the Delhi government, affected people who have lost their documents in the carnage fear that it could create hindrances in getting compensation.

Imran, who did not share his second name, said he had taken shelter at the camp in Al-Hind hospital in Mustafabad after rioters attacked his residence in Shiv Vihar - one of the worst hit areas. "They torched our house and our documents like voter-identification card, Aadhar and PAN card, were also destroyed. The Delhi government has announced ex-gratia but without documents we are unsure about how to go about it," he said.

An official said so far around 25 people have been given compensation, while they have received around 400 applications. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the people to provide details of the needy for a quick response from government agencies. "We are working 24/7 to make sure relief efforts reach all in need. If u know of anyone who is in need, use #DelhiRelief to reach us. Pl do mention exact address/contact details so that we can reach him. We will ensure a quick response from our agencies (sic)," he tweeted.

Kejriwal also announced honorarium to Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma who died in the communal riots. His family member will also get a government job, he said. "Ankit Sharma was a brave officer. He was brutally murdered in the riots. The country is proud of him. The Delhi government has decided that his family will be given an honorarium of Rs 1 crore, and a job to one person of his family. May his soul rest in peace," he tweeted.

Sharma's body was fished out of a drain in Chand Bagh area last week. Scores of people in the affected areas have been spending their nights in the dark, with damaged power lines still dangling precariously outside their houses. Damaged electricity metres remain unrepaired and people complain that no help has reached them yet.

Sujeet Tomar, 28, a resident of Mustafabad, and his family returned to their house six days after violence rocked the area but wondered how will they spend the night without power. "Most of the people, including Hindus and Muslims, in our lane have fled. Almost all the houses are locked. I and my family spent six days at my uncle's house. We returned just now.... Though my house did not suffer any damage but there's no power supply I wonder how will we stay here?" he said.

The BSF on Monday handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to its jawan Mohammed Anees after his house was vandalised and burnt by rioters. The border guarding force has also pledged to re-build the house of the jawan and hand it over to him as a 'wedding gift', as he is scheduled to get married soon, a Border Security Force (BSF) spokesperson said.

Delhi police said they have arrested 40 people in connection with riot-related rumours on Sunday evening, when the department received 1,880 distress calls from panic-stricken people. The maximum 481 calls to police control room (PCR) came from West Delhi, 413 from South East Delhi, 310 from Dwarka and 127 from South Delhi, while only two distress calls were made from North East Delhi, the area where the riots broke out last week, the police said in a statement.

The 40 arrested people have been booked under various sections including for breach of peace and tranquility (Sec 107/151 of CrPC).

Delhi Assembly's committee for peace and harmony in its first meeting on Monday decided to widely publicise that peddling fake news can invite a three-year sentence to the offenders. Anyone spreading messages that cause enmity or hatred between two communities or retweeting and posting it on Facebook can land in jail for three years, said chairman of the committee and AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj.

The committee will launch a phone number and email for people to send screenshots of such messages for further action by the committee, Bhardwaj said. He said whistleblowers helping to curb such messages will be rewarded with Rs 10,000 if their complaint leads to registration of a case.

Meanwhile, human rights activists on Monday denounced the central and Delhi governments alleging they failed to provide any medical or legal help to violence-affected people in northeast Delhi. CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat has written to acting city Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava demanding that the names of those arrested in connection with the violence in northeast Delhi be made public.

A similar demand was made on Sunday by rights activists who said that it is mandated by law that police stations display the names of those arrested with their addresses.

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