A mob out for blood
Police records also show that criminal gangs in north-east Delhi have easy access to weapons
Police suspect that the countrymade pistols used in the clashes may have been brought to Delhi from parts of western Uttar Pradesh. The Hindustan Times interviewed several masked rioters Monday and Tuesday who claimed to have come from Uttar Pradesh -- largely areas such as Shamli and Muzaffarnagar.
"Parts of the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border should have been sealed on Sunday. The border was finally closed on Tuesday evening, after more than 40 hours of heavy rioting. Had the borders been sealed on Day 1, the violence would not have escalated. In Delhi, there are no gun factories. Every illegal pistol used in Delhi is smuggled in from outside," said a mid-level police officer stationed in Jafrabad who asked not to be named.
Police records also show that criminal gangs in north-east Delhi have easy access to weapons. According to cases busted by the police as recently as December 2019, a countrymade pistol is available for Rs3,000-5,000 in parts of western Uttar Pradesh, such as Meerut, Shamli, and Muzaffarnagar. Automatic pistols in these same areas are available for Rs15,000-20,000 per piece.
On Monday, the image of a man — identified as Shahrukh — pointing a pistol at a police officer, went viral. The man, who is absconding, was caught on video firing several rounds.
On New Jafrabad Road, the epicentre of the violence, the rioters smashed the concrete divider fences and pulled out stones and rods to use as weapons.
The people killed in the Delhi riots over February 24 and 25, and the injured being wheeled in to hospitals in the city, have wounds caused by bullets, sharp blades, stones, drill bit, blunt objects and burns, doctors at the Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital and Jag Parvesh Chandra hospital said. Of the 27 killed, at least 14 died of gunshot wounds.
The kinds of wounds people have, and eye-witnesses accounts from various riot-hit spots in north-east Delhi, point to how the mobs that led the communal riot were heavily armed -- with countrymade pistols, swords, hammers, sickles, baseball bats, sticks and large stones.
'Riots a part of life': Haryana minister
Haryana Power Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala kicked off a storm yesterday with his remarks on the communal riots in the national capital that have already cost 34 lives. The minister, who was asked about the recent round of violence in the national capital, told reporters this wasn't the first time that riots had happened.
"Riots keep on happening. They have been happening in the past too… When Indira Gandhi was assassinated, all of Delhi was burning. It is a part of life, that keeps on happening," the minister told reporters, according to a video put out by news agency ANI.
Ranjit Chautala, an independent lawmaker from Rania assembly seat in Sirsa district, was inducted in the Manohar Lal Khattar cabinet last year when the Bharatiya Janata Party stitched together a coalition after failing to get a simple majority in the 90-member assembly.
Congress urges President to protect 'Raj Dharma'
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today urged the Indian President Ram Nath Kovin to use his power to protect "Raj Dharma" over Delhi violence.
Earlier, Congress leaders presented a memorandum to Ram Nath Kovin, seeking removal of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for "neglecting" his dutied and both the centre and Arvind Kejriwal's government in Delhi had been "mute spectators" to the clashes that had claimed 34 lives, reports NDTV.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi came up with the remark after meeting the President along with a party delegation.
"Rashtrapati ji you are given the highest possible responsibility under the Constitution of India: to act as the conscience keeper of this Government and to remind it of its Constitutional duty and the pillars of Raj Dharma, by which any just government must abide," the Congress said in its memorandum.
Riot-hit families are not 'safe' anymore
Irshad Ahmed (57), a daily wager, and his family left their home in Bhagirathi Vihar in north-east Delhi's Mustafabad area on Wednesday morning. Their home of 20 years was no longer a "safe" place.
The distressed family moved into their relative's house in New Mustafabad, less than 400m away from their home and across the Brijpuri Road, which divides the Hindu-dominated Bhagirathi Vihar and Muslim-dominated New Mustafabad.
Shaken by the violence that unfolded in the area, especially on Brijpuri Road, Ahmed says he just wanted his family to be "safe".
As Delhi Police officers and paramilitary personnel manned Brijpuri Road on Wednesday, several Hindu and Muslim families crossed the road to be at a "safer location" and be with their "own people".
The tension and fear were palpable. Shutters of shops were down; some half-burnt, others broken. It was a common sight in all the riot-affected areas such as Shiv Vihar, New Mustafabad, Prem Nagar, Chaman Park, Bhajanpura, Karawal Nagar and Dayalpur.
Akbari trapped as mob set her home on fire
An 85-year-old woman is among those who died in the violence that has engulfed northeast Delhi over citizenship law protests since Sunday. Akbari was trapped inside her home in the neighbourhood of Gamri Extension after a mob set it on fire on Tuesday morning. Her son told NDTV that his mother was on the third floor of their home when her four grandchildren saw that a mob was approaching their home to set it ablaze.
"At around 11 am, the children said there's no milk at home. So I went out to buy milk. While returning, my son called up to say that about 150 to 200 men have reached home. I don't know if they were Hindus or Muslims. The children had locked the gate from inside," Akbari's son Saeed Salmani said.
Akbari's body remained inside the burnt house for close to 10 hours and could be taken out by firefighters only at around 9:30 at night on Tuesday, after the fire was brought down.
Bangladesh girl asked to leave India
The Centre has asked a Bangladeshi studying at Visva-Bharati to leave India for participating in "anti-government activities" after she posted on Facebook a few photographs of protests against the CAA at the university.
Afsara Anika Meem, a first-year undergraduate student at the central varsity's Kala Bhavan, had been trolled on social media after she had posted the anti-CAA protest pictures, reports The Telegraph.
The girl from Kustia in Bangladesh had come to India in late 2018 to pursue her Bachelor of Design degree at the department of fine arts.
The leave-India letter dated February 14 was issued to Afsara by the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office of the ministry of home affairs.
The 20-year-old Afsara received the "leave-India" notice on Wednesday and sounded distraught about the uncertainty she faces over her education.
Sanders slams Trump's response as 'Failure of leadership'
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday slammed US President Donald Trump over his response to violence in North-East part of Delhi.
A day after US lawmakers reacted sharply to the violence in the Indian capital, Bernie Sanders in Washington accused US President Donald Trump of failing on the issue of human rights, NDTV reported.
Bernie Sanders said Trump's statement regarding the violence in New Delhi during his India visit was a "failure of leadership".