Sixteen persons were arrested on Monday even as rumour-induced violence that started on Sunday continued on the Delhi-Noida border in the midst of allegations of late intervention by the police.
The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident and sought a report from the area’s deputy commissioner of police within two days.
Thirteen persons were arrested in the morning for arson, rioting and destroying public property and three more were nabbed in the evening.
The government’s preliminary enquiry into the riots has shown the police took nearly three hours to take appropriate action.
The commotion, which snowballed into a full-scale riot, was triggered following false rumours that a person by the name Kamruddin Khan, 35, a resident of Khoda village, had died after being hit by a baton-wielding policeman manning a picket. He was riding a scooty and was asked to stop, but fell as he tried to speed up. He is now in police custody.
Rioters had set alight a CNG station and petrol pump, and fire tenders could not reach the spot for almost three hours as the Delhi Police allegedly delayed the process of providing them security.
"The owner of the CNG pump made several calls to the police to send fire tenders but to no avail. There was approximately 50,000 litres of petrol in the pump. After a few hours, tenders reached the place and doused the fire," a Delhi government source said.
Renu Sachdeva, the owner of the petrol pump, said the area within 3 km would have come under fire had she not acted in time and ensured that the fuel supply had been restricted. "I saw it (the petrol pump) burn to cinders before my very eyes," she told HT.
A person called Vinod Singh Negi, a native of Uttarakhand, had died in the riots. "Negi apparently died due to a gunshot which seems to have been fired by someone in the mob. No shots were fired by the police," a police officer said.