New Delhi: As many as 38 people have died on Thursday and more than 200 others have been injured in what has been deemed as one of the worst riot-like situations in the history of Delhi. The communal violence that erupted on Sunday evening in Jaffrabad area in Northeast Delhi has disrupted peace and harmony in the national capital even as an additional deployment of police forces tempered down the situation after four long days. Also Read - Home Minister Has Asked States to Take Action Against People Involved in Hoarding, Black Marketing During Lockdown: MHA
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced several compensation schemes for all those affected and injured in the violence and said that no rioter, irrespective of their party allegiance, who is found guilty in the violence, should be spared. His comment came in connection to the allegations on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Councillor Tahir Hussain over aggravating clashes. Also Read - 'Tracing, Treatment, Team-work And ....' : Kejriwal Reveals 5T Action Plan to Combat COVID-19 Spread in Delhi
Here are the top ten developments of the day: Also Read - Coronavirus: Cases Rise to 4281, Total Deaths at 111, States Hint at Extending Lockdown Beyond April 14 | Top Points
1. Security forces, drone cameras were deployed in parts of Northeast Delhi – including Seelampur, Chand Bagh, Bhajanpura and Khajuri Khas, among others – to monitor the situation in the violence-hit areas. Roads in the agitation-affected areas were seen being cleaned. Traffic restrictions were released on roads in Seelampur leading to Jafrabad, Gokalpuri, Babarpur, among other areas.
2. An enormous row broke out over the transfer of Delhi High Court’s Justice S Muralidhar who pulled up Delhi Police over its inaction on hate speeches during the hearing of pleas pertaining to Delhi violence. “That was my last judicial act as a judge of this court,” he said as he adjourned today’s hearing. Justice Muralidhar has been transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court and will take charge as its judge on March 6.
3. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Corporator Tahir Hussain made headlines after the father of a deceased IB staffer, Ankit Sharma, alleged that Hussain was responsible behind the death of his son. A series of videos surfaced on social media on Wednesday, showing people allegedly throwing petrol bombs and stones from his rooftop. In one such video, Hussain is seen holding a wooden stick with smoke rising from his building. While he admitted that it was him in the video, he defended himself saying the video was dated February 24. An FIR was registered later against Hussain on the complaint of Ankit Sharma’s father.
4. A Congress delegation comprised of interim president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, and other senior party leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind over the arresting situation in northeast Delhi. “We call upon you (President) to ensure that life, liberty, and property of citizens are preserved. We also reiterate that you should immediately call for the removal of the Home Minister for his inability to contain violence,” Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi reads out memorandum.
5. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) postponed Class 10 and 12 board exams scheduled for February 28 and 29 – two English Literature exams for Class 10 and three in Media and Web Applications for Class 12 – for students who couldn’t appear for papers in parts of Northeast Delhi that were gripped in violence. The exams were postponed at 73 centres in North East Delhi and seven centres in East Delhi. However, the board is yet to announce fresh dates.
6. The Delhi High Court heard the petition, filed by social activist Harsh Mander, demanding action against those involved in the communal violence in various areas of Northeast Delhi. Furious over the delay in registering FIRs against the BJP leaders – Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Abhay Verma and Parvesh Verma – the bench issued a whip to the Delhi Police and urged it to “seriously consider consequences”. It has directed the police to file a response within a month on action taken against hate speeches that have allegedly triggered the clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act. The next hearing will take place on April 13.
7. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed a press conference and said that no rioter, regardless of their party allegiance, should be spared from punishment over communal violence. He said there should be “double punishment” in case an AAP worker is found guilty. “There should be no politics on the issue of national security,” he added. His comment was in response to the criticism over AAP leader Tahir Hussain involvement in the killing of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Ankit Sharma, whose body was recovered from a drain in the Chand Bagh area on Wednesday.
8. The Chief Minister, in his briefing, also announced compensation under the state government’s ‘Farishte’ scheme for the loss suffered by people during the past few days. He has offered Rs 10 lakh to the kin of those who died and Rs 5 lakh to the kin of deceased minors. Rs 5 lakh will be granted to those incapacitated in the clashes and Rs 3 lakh to those orphaned. Further, Kejriwal also announced compensation for the destruction of property and vehicles – Rs 25,000 for rickshaws, Rs 50,000 for e-rickshaws, Rs 5 lakh for burnt houses, Rs 2.5 lakh for houses that were substantially but not fully burnt down.
9. After being held under the scanner, The Delhi Police on Thursday evening booked Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain for his role in the murder of an Information Bureau staffer who died in the ongoing clashes in northeast Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party subsequently removed him from the party. A search is underway to nab the leader. He has been booked under Sections 365 (Kidnapping) and 302 (Punishment for murder) of the IPC at Dayalpur police station based on a complained filed by the father of the deceased staffer, Ankit Sharma.
10. The Ministry of Home Affairs released an official statement maintaining that no major incident had been reported in the last 36 hours in any affected police station of Delhi’s northeast district. The MHA also stated that prohibitory orders under Section 144 will be relaxed for a total of 10 hours on Friday in view of the improvement in the ground situation. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has transferred the riots probe to the Crime Branch and formed two Special Investigation Teams to investigate the FIRs filed.