On Saturday, some signs of normalcy returned to riot-hit areas of northeast Delhi. (Photo Credit: IANS file)
The Delhi Police has registered 167 FIRs and arrested or detained 885 people in connection with the northeast Delhi violence, a senior officer said on Saturday. Thirty-six of the cases were registered under the Arms Act, they said. The police also registered 13 cases against accounts operating from different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. for posting provocative content. Several social media accounts and web links involved in circulation of unlawful, offensive content have been suspended, the senior police officer said.
Advisories on social and print media have been issued to sensitise people about responsible usage of online platforms. People have also been advised to maintain restraint while using social media platforms, police said. The death toll in the communal violence has gone up to 42. More than 250 people have been injured in the clashes.
On Saturday, some signs of normalcy returned to riot-hit areas of northeast Delhi as people stepped out of their homes to buy groceries and medicines from a few shops that opened amid intensified patrolling by security personnel. Since early morning, civic workers were seen clearing roads of bricks, glass shards and burnt vehicles in the aftermath of the violence that left 42 dead and over 200 injured. At some places, even bulldozers were used as it became difficult to manually remove debris.
In Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Yamuna Vihar, Chand Bagh, Mustafabad and Bhajanpura, which were among the areas worst hit by the communal violence, there were more vehicles and people on the roads than in the last five days.
Personnel from the Delhi Police and paramilitary forces encouraged people to open their shops and appealed for peace and communal harmony. They started their march at Jaffrabad and moved through Maujpur and then into the narrow lanes of Noor-e-Ilahi, Yamuna Vihar and Bhajanpura, areas where mobs ran riot vandalising shops, houses and torching vehicles early this week.
Schools in northeast Delhi still remain closed. "It is only the smaller shops that have opened today. The bigger shops and showrooms have still not opened and their owners are being cautious," a showroom owner, whose property was attacked during the riots, told PTI.
Shakib, a resident of Noor-e-Ilahi, said people selling vegetables on carts made rounds of colonies. "Not many, only a couple of them could be seen. The rates are still a little high than the usual, but at least they have resumed sale," he said.
Yamuna Vihar resident Amit Tanwar said the situation has improved and grocery stores and other shops opened during the day. However, some establishments like restaurants are still not open as their workers have not come to work, he added.
Officials on Saturday said schools will remain closed in northeast Delhi till March 7 in view of the violence. The annual exams have also been postponed since the situation is not conducive for conducting examinations in the violence-affected areas, they said.
Sources said the Delhi government is considering to issue a WhatsApp number for people to report circulation of provocative messages and take complaints on those spreading rumours.
Among the several houses torched by rioters was that of Border Security Force (BSF) Constable Mohammad Anees, who is currently posted at a camp of the force the in West Bengal's Radhabari. The BSF has decided to rebuild his house and hand it over to him as a 'wedding gift'.
At the Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital people are still frantically searching for their loved ones, either in the casualty ward or at the mortuary.
(With PTI inputs)