The Union Home Ministry Wednesday said in the Rajya Sabha that the Delhi Police acted swiftly and promptly in a professional manner during the riots in the national capital last month, adding that the high population density of the area and narrow lanes were a challenge in the movement of forces and vehicles.
In a written reply, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said, “North East District of Delhi has the highest density of population in India with several pockets of mixed population areas. The Delhi Police acted swiftly and promptly in a professional manner, but the high population density of the area and narrow lanes/ by-lanes added to the challenges in the movement of forces and vehicles.”
While containing the violence, over 100 policemen had suffered injuries, Reddy added. The Delhi Police had ensured that the disturbances were contained and not allowed to spread to other parts of the city, he said.
Reddy informed the Upper House that two Special Investigation Teams (SIT) of the Crime Branch have been constituted by the Delhi Police which are under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) level officers of the Crime Branch for comprehensive and effective investigation of cases. He also added that forty teams have been constituted to arrest the culprits and collect evidence.
In order to avoid such sectional violence in the city in the future, several steps have been taken by the Delhi Police which include, deployment of adequate police and Central Armed Police Forces personnel, conducting peace committee meetings, patrolling in vulnerable areas, monitoring open source social media, stationing of PCR vans in the vicinity of colonies and markets, extensive interaction with general public, Reddy said.
In response to another question in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said as on March 12, 763 cases, including 51 cases under the Arms Act, were registered, 3,304 people were arrested or detained, 545 people were injured and 52 died in the riots as reported by the Delhi Police. He also added that on March 9, the government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi had requested the Delhi High Court to set up a Claims Commission to assess the damage to private and government properties during the violence. This request was made with the view to provide relief and rehabilitation in the riot-affected areas of Delhi’s North East and Shahdara Districts.
The Delhi government has ordered grant of ex-gratia relief in various eventualities and has also decided to give compensation for damage to residential units during the riots.
The national capital witnessed violence which started on February 23, claiming 52 lives and over 200 injured.