Delhi riots: 800 two-wheelers torched as rioters went on rampage
Across parts of northeast Delhi, which have been laid waste by rioters between Sunday and Thursday, one of the most common images is that of burnt fuel-carrying vehicles—motorcycles, autorickshaws and cars. Police officers on the ground suspect that vehicles, especially two-wheelers, were targeted as they are easier to drag out and burn, and may have been a ploy to maximize “visible” damage.
Though the police are yet to officially estimate the number of burnt two-wheelers, officers on the ground estimate that the at least 700-800 motorcycles may have been set on fire.
“In localities such as Chand Bagh and Shiv Vihar, the target was motorcycles, cars and other type of fuel carrying vehicles. On the main Karawal Nagar road, the rioters broke open a motorcycle showroom, dragged out the motorcycle and set them on fire. Every single motorcycle was burnt. It must have been done to cause panic and create a spectacular sight of the riots,” said a mid-level police officer present at spot.
Outside the showroom, there are at least 40 motorcycles burnt to their shell. On the road in front, there were burnt autorickshaws; the cycle-rickshaws were left untouched.
The Delhi Police have registered 48 FIRs through which they hope to identify the masterminds. The senior officers of the Intelligence Bureau’s State Intelligence Branch (Delhi) unit are also attending the meetings with the police in North-East Delhi.
Another mid-level Delhi police officer said that the police will identify the rioters with the help of CCTVs and footages from cellphones.
“There are several videos of rioters burning vehicles and two-wheelers on the road. There is a trend to the burning too. The bikes have been assembled together and burnt. This was done to maximize the damage, especially visually. Along with the petrol bombs (Molotov cocktails), the sight of vehicles on fire creates more panic in situations like these,” second officer said.