Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel near a car burnt during last week’s violence that erupted in north-east Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at Shiv Vihar, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel near a car burnt during last week’s violence that erupted in north-east Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at Shiv Vihar, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

At least 102 hit by bullets in north-east Delhi riots: Cops

Doctors had earlier confirmed that of the 47 who died in the riots last week, at least nine had died of bullet injuries. The cause of death in the case of the others will be clear only after autopsy reports are submitted.
By Karn Pratap Singh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2020 05:58 AM IST

At least 102 persons were hit by bullets, while 171 suffered injuries caused by sharp weapons or blunt objects, the Delhi Police said in a report to the government, officials privy to the matter said. It is unclear how many of the injured died of bullet injuries.

Doctors had earlier confirmed that of the 47 who died in the riots last week, at least nine had died of bullet injuries. The cause of death in the case of the others will be clear only after autopsy reports are submitted.

The report prepared by the Delhi Police mentioned that at least 500 persons were injured in the riots, the officials cited above said. Apart from bullet injuries and those by sharp weapons or blunt objects, a majority of the other case were due to stone pelting or burns.

The police control room received almost 21,000 distress calls between February 22 and February 29, police mentioned in the report.

“On February 24 and 25 alone, when the communal violence was at peak in several parts of northeast Delhi, the police control room received over 13,000 riots related calls. The following day, around 6,000 calls were made but a majority of them were panic calls and not of rioting,” said a senior police officer, quoting the report.

Two special investigation teams (SITs) formed to probe the riots-related cases are yet to make any breakthrough in the cases of 47 murders. Also, they are still trying to ascertain the exact sequence of the violence, which spiraled into a communal riot and are also probing the possibility of a “larger conspiracy”, another police officer said on the condition of anonymity.

On Tuesday, the police had arrested Mohammad Shahrukh,28, whose video showing him aiming a pistol at a policeman during the violence in Jafarabad went viral on social media. However, police are yet to solve the cases related to the murder of Delhi police head constable Ratan Lal, Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma.

Tahir Hussain, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor from Nehru Vihar, who was booked for murder and abduction, after allegedly being linked to Sharma’s death in Chand Bagh on February 24, is yet to be arrested. The AAP had suspended Hussain after his name cropped up in the investigation into the riots.

There are also two other FIRs, which mentions his name although not as an accused directly. Instead, the complainants alleged that a mob had fired guns, pelted stones and petrol bombs from Hussain’s Chand Bagh house.

One of these FIRs, having attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy charges, was registered on March 1 at the Dayalpur police station on the statement of a person named Ajay Goswami, who suffered a bullet injury during the violence on February 25. Goswami was admitted to Hindu Rao Hospital by his relatives and some locals.

In his complaint, Goswami said that he was returning to his Khajoori Khas home after meeting his uncle when he was hit by a bullet in a firing being done by some people. “…the people who lifted me said that many people were firing and throwing petrol bombs, stones from Tahir Hussain’s home,” reads the FIR.

The second FIR — of rioting, arson, assaulting security personnel and damaging property — was registered at the Khajoori Khas police station on the complaint of a policeman, whose bike was torched by rioters. The policeman in his complaint also mentions similar allegations of a mob throwing burning objects and stone pelting from the home.

On Tuesday, the police visited a factory in riot-hit Shiv Vihar after being informed that hundreds of litres of acid were stored in a factory and that it was used during the riots.

“We spoke to the factory owner who possessed a licence for storing acid. Whether the amount of stored acid was above the permissible limit, or the acid was supplied to fuel the violence is being probed,” said joint commissioner of police (eastern range) Alok Kumar.

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