Fortified Northeast Delhi crawls to normalcy amid uneasy calm over future

A security official stands in front of a closed shop following clashes over the amended citizenship law, at Mustafabad in Northeast Delhi. PTI
The situation in northeast Delhi is slowly returning to normalcy after a spate of communal violence left 42 people dead and over 200 injured as the government begins efforts to rehabilitate those affected. As people gingerly stepped out for work and opened shops and other establishments in northeast Delhi, anxiety escalated outside the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital where people waited outside the mortuary to receive the bodies of their loved ones.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during the day said that the Delhi government has set up nine shelters for the riot-affected people and will start distributing Rs 25,000 in cash as immediate relief from Saturday to those whose houses have been burnt in the violence.

"Night magistrates can coordinate relief and rehabilitation activities in any emergent situation at any time, along with measures like fixing street lights to ensure the security of residents at night," he said.  

Death toll climbs to 42, 123 FIRs lodged

The death toll in the violence climbed to 42 during the day, while more than 250 people have been injured in the communal clashes in the areas of Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chand Bagh, Khureji Khas, and Bhajanpura. The Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital has recorded 38 deaths, the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital three, and the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital has reported one. Nearly 7,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the affected areas. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police said that 123 FIRs were registered and 630 people were either arrested or detained so far in connection with the violence. Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Spokesperson Delhi Police said that forensic science laboratory teams have been called in and the crime scenes are being revisited.

A shopkeeper sorts through the charred remains of a vandalized and burned shop, following Tuesday's violence, at Khajuri Khas extension. PTI

Leadership change in Delhi Police, S N Shrivastava to be next boss

Incumbent Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik will demit the office on Saturday and Senior IPS officer S N Shrivastava will take over the reins of the force. Shrivastava will hold the additional charge of the Delhi police commissioner with effect from Sunday and until further orders. Patnaik leaves behind a force, whose image has allegedly been tarnished in the recent months after personnel barged into Jamia Millia Islamia University with video footage showing them attacking students. The police have been charged with acting "unprofessionally" as communal violence took over northeast Delhi and razed without check for over 48 hours.

Opposition inciting riots over CAA: Amit Shah

Facing allegations of "dereliction of duty" during the communal violence, Home Minister Amit Shah accused opposition parties of spreading misinformation about the new citizenship law and inciting communal riots. "Opposition parties are spreading misinformation that Muslims will lose their Indian citizenship because of the CAA. They are instigating people and fomenting riots," he told a pro-CAA BJP rally in Odisha. He repeated that no Indian Muslim will lose citizenship because of the new law.

Muslims offer Friday prayers on the rooftop of a mosque, which was burnt by rioters in Tuesday's violence over new citizenship law, at Brijpuri. PTI

BJP, Cong trade charges over 'Rajdharma'

The BJP on Friday accused the Congress of backtracking on "rajdharma" by opposing the CAA after seeking citizenship for refugees from neighbouring countries, but the opposition party insisted it followed the "rajdharma" of equality and harmony while the Modi government has a "divisive mindset". Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Sonia Gandhi, please don't preach us rajdharma. Your record is full of its violation and twists and turns for plain and simple vote bank politics. Congress should look at its face in the mirror of rajdharma." 

Slamming the BJP for its remarks, the Congress asserted that its leaders like Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh believed in equality and harmony, while the Modi government has a "divisive mindset". "Indira ji, Rajiv ji, Manmohan Singh ji rajdharma was about giving priority to equality and harmony. There is prejudice in what you are doing. There is a divisive mindset," the Congress said. 

Security personnel patrol streets following Tuesday's violence over new citizenship law, at Khajuri Khas area of northeast Delhi. PTI

Ensure security at Board Exam centre: HC to Delhi Police

The Delhi High Court directed the AAP government and the police on Friday to ensure that there is no breach of security at board exam centres in northeast Delhi. "The newly added respondents (government and police) shall ensure the (exam) centres are sanitised and there is no breach of security," the court said which also observed that the situation in north east Delhi appeared to be "improving". During the hearing, CBSE told the court that it has postponed the board exams for class 10 and 12 to be held on Friday and Saturday at 86 centres in north east Delhi. It said however that it was optimistic about holding exams at the centres from Monday, March 2, onwards.

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