Delhi violence toll rises to 47; Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition raises uproar seeking Amit Shah's resignation

Heavy security deployment remained in place in Delhi even as the toll following the violence in its northeast district touched 47 on Monday

FP Staff March 02, 2020 15:14:50 IST
Delhi violence toll rises to 47; Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition raises uproar seeking Amit Shah's resignation
  • Heavy security deployment remained in place in Delhi even as the toll following the violence in its northeast district touched 47 on Monday

  • An uproar was witnessed in the Parliament, with Opposition MPs raising their voices against the riots, leading to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha being adjourned soon after initiating proceedings

  • The Delhi Police said it has registered 254 FIRs and arrested or detained 903 persons in connection with the violence

Heavy security deployment remained in place in Delhi even as the toll following the violence in its northeast district touched 47 on Monday. Meanwhile, an uproar was witnessed in the Budget Session of Parliament, with Opposition MPs raising their voices against the riots, leading to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha being adjourned soon after initiating proceedings.

At Delhi’s Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, 38 deaths have been reported, four at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, three at Lok Nayak Hospital and one at Jag Parvesh Chander Hospital, while over 200 were injured in the clashes. Additionally, three bodies were fished out from drains in Gokulpuri and Shiv Vihar on Sunday, but the reason behind their deaths remains to be ascertained. The body of an Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma was recovered from a drain in Chand Bagh last week.

The Delhi Police said it has registered 254 FIRs and arrested or detained 903 persons in connection with the violence so far. Forty-one of the cases were registered under the Arms Act. However, the situation remained peaceful since Thursday, a police official told PTI. Activists Anjali Bharadwaj, co-convenor of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information, advocate Prashant Bhushan, CPI leader Annie Raja, Amrita Johri among others, in a letter written to Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava, said Section 41-C of the Criminal Procedure Code mandatorily requires that a police control room be established in all districts and section 41-C(2) demands that the names and addresses of all persons arrested be displayed on the notice board outside the control room.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet that the government is working towards providing relief to those in need, assuring to the people a “quick response from our agencies”. The Delhi Assembly also constituted a nine-member Peace and Harmony Committee, which will be headed by AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, and comprises lawmakers Atishi and Raghav Chadha. The first meeting of the committee will be held on Monday at 3 pm at Delhi Secretariat.

Panic spread across several parts of Delhi on Sunday evening following false rumours of violence. Delhi Metro briefly shut down entry and exits of seven stations without giving any reason. However, the Delhi Police and AAP leaders denied any incident and appealed to all to remain calm. In west Delhi alone, as many as 481 panic calls were made to the police control room (PCR) on Sunday between 7 pm and midnight, in a span of five hours, NDTV reported.

Most of these calls — 148 — came from the Tilak Nagar area, followed by 143 calls from the limits of Khayala Police Station. The police received calls from other areas such as Rajouri Garden (96), Punjabi Bagh (26), Hari Nagar (24), Moti Nagar (17) and Janakpuri (11). Twenty eight police calls were made in north Delhi and 222 police calls were made in in outer Delhi.

Amid reports of fresh violence, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had shut the entry and exit gates of Tilak Nagar, Nangloi, Surajmal Stadium, Badarpur, Tughlakabad, Uttam Nagar West and Nawada stations on Sunday. The stations were later opened. Section 144 remains in forces in northeast Delhi and Shaheen Bagh.

"Some antisocial elements have spread rumours. We received many PCR calls. The situation is completely normal. Police personnel have been deployed everywhere. Don't pay attention to rumours and inform police about it," Delhi Police public relations officer MS Randhawa told news agency ANI. “Do not believe in any rumours regarding incidents in Sangam Vihar, Ambedkar Nagar, Hauz Rani or any other area. All officers are alert and patrolling and strict action will be taken against those spreading rumours,” a post on the DCP South Delhi Twitter handle read.

As the Budget Session of the Parliament resumed, protests by the Opposition were witnessed, demanding a debate on the situation in Delhi. However, as uproar continued in the Houses, both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned. Congress, AAP and TMC leaders stood in the Parliament complex and raised slogans. Ahead of the proceedings, Suspension of Business notices were given in Rajya Sabha by AAP’s Sanjay Singh and CPM’s KK Ragesh. In the Lok Sabha, Adjournment Motion notices were served by Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and K Suresh and MPS from TMC, CPM, CPI, NCP and DMK. Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to reply to the issue in the Parliament, a BJP source told News18.

Activist Harsh Mander moved the Supreme Court seeking the immediate registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra and Parvesh Verma for giving allegedly inflammatory speeches. The matter will be heard on Wednesday. At the same time, a Delhi court deferred the hearing of a complaint by CMP leader Brinda Karat seeking FIRs against Thakur and Verma for hate speeches. Additionally, the Delhi High Court asked police to file a status report on steps taken for treatment and rehabilitation of violence-affected people in northeast Delhi, PTI reported.

Schools in the northeast Delhi district have been ordered shut till 7 March. On Sunday, the CBSE said any further delay in conducting board exams in violence-affected areas may hamper chances of students in admission to professional courses like medical and engineering, but added that it is ready to conduct fresh exams for students who will not be able to appear as per schedule. The CBSE, however, said in a statement that it was ready to conduct a re-test for candidates who could not appear for the board exams in view of the violence in northeast Delhi, The Indian Express reported.

Cash crunch at several bank branches and ATMs was also reported in violence-affected parts of the National Capital. Mohammad Alam, 27, a mobile recharge shop owner in Shiv Vihar — one of the worst violence-affected areas — said his shop remained shut for the past four days. "The business has been hit badly due to closure of banks and ATMs. People don't have cash," Alam told PTI. Kailash Kumar, who lives in Mustafabad, said his family would leave the city for their hometown in Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur, but he could not draw cash for travel. Kumar is among the many residents of riot-hit areas who looked at relocation after mobs wreaked havoc for at least three days, with US President Donald Trump in the National Capital on one of the days.

The violence in Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajan Pura, Yamuna Vihar and Mustafabad areas saw frenzied mobs torching houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelting stones at locals and police personnel. Police said they are conducting flag marches in affected areas. Mohammed Yunus, who owns a garment store in Shiv Vihar, said he was saved by his Hindu neighbours during the violence and they tore down the shop's name-board to protect the business from rioters. “Those who indulged in violence did not belong to the area, they came from outside," he said.

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