Five days after violence broke out in norteast Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act, the death toll in the ensuing communal riots climbed to 34 on Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, both the Centre and the Delhi government swung into action, with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal going to the disturbed parts of the city on Wednesday to rebuild confidence among people.
Here are the latest updates:
Sonia Gandhi-led Congress delegation meets Kovind over Delhi violence
A delegation of senior Congress leaders, led by party chief Sonia Gandhi, met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday to seek normalcy and peace in violence-hit Delhi.
The delegation, including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad as well as Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala, also submitted a memorandum to the president.
Comments by USCIRF, others on Delhi violence attempt to politicise issue: MEA
India on Thursday described the comments by a US commission on religious freedom and by “few individuals” over violence in the national capital as “factually inaccurate, misleading” and an attempt to politicise the issue.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar’s reaction came a day after the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed “grave concern” over the violence in Delhi and asked the Indian government to provide protection to people irrespective of their faith.
As the situation in violence-hit parts of norteast Delhi returned to normal, citizens took to streets to clean up the debris from the riots in the preceding days.
Paramilitary personnel provide security cover for last journey of man killed in Delhi clashes
Amid an eerie calm in northeast Delhi’s Shiv Vihar, where communal violence broke out four days ago, 26-year-old Rahul Solanki’s body was taken to a crematorium by his distraught kin and armed paramilitary personnel.
Solanki, who was pursuing his LLB from a private college in Ghaziabad, had stepped out on Monday to buy milk. He died after he was shot in the right shoulder near his neck, his father Hari Singh Solanki said.
“We took his body home from GTB Hospital. We wanted police and paramilitary forces to give us protection till we reached the crematorium to perform his final rites,” he said on Wednesday.
Senior police officers present in the area had assured the family members that they will be provided security.
A friend of Rahul, who was with him when he was shot, said they could not see who fired at him.
“We saw a mob approaching us and began to run. We were barefeet and Rahul went to put on his slippers. While he was putting them on, some unidentified persons shot him dead,” he said.
Shops shut, eerie calm prevails in riot-hit areas of northeast Delhi
Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in northeast Delhi, even as an eerie calm prevailed across the neighbourhoods in Jaffarabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Gokulpuri and surrounding areas, with the death toll reaching 32 on Thursday.
Most shops were closed with their shutters bearing marks of the violence that it had witnessed over the last few days and people chose to stay indoors.
As police conducted flag marches and security personnel spread out across the northeastern edge of the national capital in a bid to quell the violence raging since Sunday.
19 calls received from violence-hit northeast Delhi between 12-8 a.m.: Delhi Fire Service
The Delhi Fire Service received 19 calls from midnight to 8 a.m. on Thursday from riot-hit areas of northeast Delhi, an official said.
Over 100 firemen are deployed in the area and all the four fire station in the area are provided with extra fire tenders to meet any emergency and are being managed by senior officers, Director of Delhi Fire Service Atul Garg said.
Senior officers are also camping in the riot-affected area, he added.
Hope that the hospital release the body on time, says a victim’s relative
”We have been here since Tuesday and it’s been hell,” said Sajid, whose nephew Salman (32), died at GTB hospital on Thursday morning.
“The family was getting ready for his marriage. His parents are shattered. He was caught in a mob attack while returning from work (he works as a tailor). Now our only prayer is that the hospital should please release the body on time, and don’t prolong this agony for us,” he said.
GTB hospital sees cases of breathing problems, palpitations
GTB hospital saw several people from northeast Delhi come in with breathing problems and palpitation.
One of the patients, Arif, is accompanied with his wife. He complains of high blood pressure and rapid heart beat.
“I am too scared to stay at home. We have been here since Wednesday night. Today morning the doctors told me that I am anxious and that I should rest. How can I rest when houses across the road are burning and me and my family constantly feel that we are going to be attacked next, he said.
Families of deceased react…
Babu Salmani (30), who died this morning at GTB Hospital in Delhi, was heading home for lunch when he was attacked by a mob, said his sister Nasreen, as the family is set to take his body to the village for cremation.
“He was heading home on Tuesday afternoon for lunch in his auto when he was attacked by a mob. He fought for his life two days in the hospital and died today morning,” said his sister Nasreen. He leaves behind three young children.
Why is the poor bearing the brunt of hate, asks brother of a victim
Munijid, whose brother Musharraf, was killed on Tuesday, says his brother was surrounded by a mob, beaten to death and his body was thrown into a drain in North east Delhi.
“It’s the poor who is getting killed. Show me one politician or a rich man who has died. Why is the poor bearing the brunt of hate?” he asks.