At least 82 people sustained gunshot wounds during the violence in northeast Delhi over the last three days, The Indian Express has learnt. Of them, 21 people succumbed to their injuries, including Head Constable Ratan Lal who was the first reported casualty on Monday evening.
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With police so far having prepared a list of about 250 victims, including the dead and injured, the figure suggests that one in every three victims suffered bullet injuries — a number that has led to police investigating how so many rioters got access to guns.
On Thursday, the toll from the violence rose to 38, with hospital authorities having identified 29 bodies. Apart from bullet wounds, the list of victims shows that one man died after he was set on fire, while others received injuries from acid attacks, stabbing, assault and teargas shells.
“Police have found over 350 used cartridges from the spot. During investigation, we found cartridges of .32 mm, .9 mm and .315 mm calibre, and some used cartridges of toy guns from the spot,” a senior police officer told The Indian Express.
Preliminary police investigations suggest that “petty criminals” from the district had stocked country-made pistols and bullets, and handed them out “to unemployed youths and labourers and incited them to join the violence”. During raids, police also recovered stockpiles of swords and molotov cocktails, it is learnt.
“Police have found sufficient technical evidence to show that local criminals, who have in the past been arrested on the charges of robbery, snatching, pickpocketing, etc., were involved in procuring and distributing arms and ammunition. Police have started conducting raids at their homes and other locations. Many of them are on the run,” an officer involved in the investigation told The Indian Express.
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