Violence began with stone-pelting at Maujpur Metro station: Riots charge sheet
It was the first of the 16,381 distress calls that the police control room (PCR) received between February 23 and 27, according to the charge sheet filed by the special cell of Delhi Police last week.Updated: Sep 24, 2020, 00:34 IST
Stone throwing at Maujpur Metro station by a group of 200-300 Muslims at 5.23pm on February 23 was the first riot reported to Delhi Police in the communal violence that rocked north-east Delhi, according to the charge sheets filed on a conspiracy behind the violence.
“After the police reached the spot, the mob started pelting stones on them in which five policemen were injured. This was the first set of medico-legal cases in relation to the north-east Delhi riots,” reads the charge sheet.
It was the first of the 16,381 distress calls that the police control room (PCR) received between February 23 and 27, according to the charge sheet filed by the special cell of Delhi Police last week.
The riots, which started as protestors against and for the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) and later acquired a communal colour, left 53 people dead and 607 injured.
About an hour later, while a police team was dispersing the mob and collecting stones/bricks amassed at the spot, the control room received information about the second rioting incident from Kabir Nagar, Bhajanpura, less than a kilometre away from the Maujpur Metro station. In the charge sheet, police have mentioned that at 6.40 pm, two police officers were injured in the stone-pelting near a crematorium in Kabir Nagar.
A police inspector who was on patrol duty with his team noticed a mob of over 100 people beating three men. The police team were attacked with stones and bricks when they went to rescue the person.
The police have registered 751 different incidents of rioting, murder, arson, destruction of property and other sections in which 1,571 people have been arrested.
From guns to wooden sticks and from a pair of scissors to plastic crates --- the rioters used all kinds of things as weapons, the charge sheet says, citing the recoveries made by the police.
According to data cited in the charge sheet, at least 12 pistols, 121 empty and 92 live cartridges, 33 wooden sticks, one iron rod, 61 glass bottles filled with chemicals, two knives, four swords, a pair of scissors, stones, several plastic sacks, plastic crates, one plastic tub, stones and 11 slingshots were seized by the police from the sites where violence had taken place.
According to the police, the riots were “deliberate, planned and caused after due preparations”. The police have attached the statement of a protected witness, who has claimed to have seen suspended municipal councillor Tahir Hussain and his men stocking glass bottles, petrol and acid, which were later used in the riots.
Police have also alleged that the money to buy a pistol, which was used to murder a man named Rahul Solanki, was provided by Hussain and he handed it over to arrested suspect Mustaqeem (first name only).
Hussain has in the past denied the allegations and said that he was a riot victim; that his house was damaged; his family had to flee for safety and that the police were framing him.
Between February 24 and 27, the charge sheet shows, the fire department received at least 242 calls of arson from the police and local residents.
Records show thatthe maximum number of calls, 95, were received on February 25. During the clashes, a tyre market in Gokalpuri, a parking lot with over 150 cars in Shiv Vihar, a petrol pump in Bhajanpura and houses and shops were burnt.
The lone woman, who died in the riots, Akbari Begum, 85, was killed when rioters set her house on fire in Bhajanpura on February 25.
The charge sheet says at least 1,130 commercial and residential properties were damaged in Karawal Nagar and Yamuna Vihar. The police said they are awaiting the survey report from other areas such as Seelampur and Shahdara. The government has so far disbursed Rs 21.93 crore against the damages claims while 185 claims are still pending.