Two special teams formed to probe riots, operation planned to retrieve stashed weapons

Published on Feb 27, 2020 11:41 PM IST
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ByAnvit Srivastava

New Delhi: Delhi Police Thursday formed two special investigation teams (SITs) to probe the north-east Delhi riots that have so far claimed 38 lives and left around 350 injured. Police are also identifying the perpetrators who are suspected to have instigated the communal violence and provoked the crowd on both sides. Senior officers said they will crack down all riot-hit areas to recover pistols, petrol bombs, swords and other weapons used by rioters.

A senior officer said the SITs will be headed by two deputy commissioners of police from the crime branch.

Each team will have four assistant commissioners of police. The ACPs will further have charge of three inspectors, four sub-inspectors and three constables or head constables. The overall probe of the communal clashes will be headed by additional commissioner (crime) BK Singh.

BK Singh also appealed to the public, especially media persons and eyewitnesses, to come forward if they had any information that could help with the probe.

An officer, who did not wish to be named, said each team has been given one platoon to nab suspects and retrieve stashed weapons from riot-hit areas. Special commissioner of police SN Shrivastava, who was brought back to Delhi Police Tuesday from the CRPF (central reserve police force) to contain the riots, also held a meeting of senior officers Thursday to chalk out the crackdown.

The two DCPs who will lead the SIT are Rajesh Deo and Joy Tirkey. Deo is at present handling investigations related to the February 2019 fire in Arpit Palace and the recent one in Anaj Mandi.

Tirkey is heading the probe into the JNU violence that was reported in January 2020 and clashes between the police and the lawyers that broke out at Tis Hazari court complex last November.

At least 79 houses, 52 shops, five godowns, four mosques, three factories and two schools were burnt between Monday and Thursday by rioters.

The Delhi Police Wednesday had said that it has registered 48 FIRs so far in the violence and around 106 people arrested.

However, Shahrukh, the man who had fired multiple rounds from his pistol in Jafrabad on Monday, remained absconding. A senior officer, who is part of the investigation, said we have inputs that he has fled to some area in western Uttar Pradesh.

“We have found that he and his father have criminal cases against them. We are gathering more details about them. Searches to arrest him are underway,” the officer said.

On Thursday, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal also held a review meeting with senior police officers and directed them to continue adequate deployment, patrolling and area-domination exercises in affected areas as well as promptly register FIRs.

Baijal also instructed police to set up sufficient help desks and helplines so that help can be extended to all those affected by the violence.

The L-G also asked the municipal corporations to ensure proper sanitation, removal of burnt cars and debris from riot-affected areas. He also said prompt action should be taken to ensure essential supplies like food, milk, grocery items etc. in the affected areas and extend all possible help to the injured and families of deceased.

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