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Delhi violence: A tense night in Shiv Vihar as armed men defy police curfew

According to residents, a mob that had mobilised in the lanes of Shiv Vihar around 2 am Thursday moved around sloganeering and wielding sticks. A motorcycle was set on fire in one of the lanes and smoke could be seen billowing from it till Thursday afternoon.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | New Delhi |
Updated: February 28, 2020 8:10:14 am
Security personnel at a lane in Chand Bagh, Thursday. Amit Mehra

Fresh instances of violence were seen in Northeast Delhi late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, with one person reportedly being shot at. Police, however, said no major incident of violence has taken place over the last two days.

The communal violence in several areas of Northeast Delhi, which flared up on Sunday, has killed 38 people so far. Curfew has been imposed in the area.

According to residents, a mob that had mobilised in the lanes of Shiv Vihar around 2 am Thursday moved around sloganeering and wielding sticks. A motorcycle was set on fire in one of the lanes and smoke could be seen billowing from it till Thursday afternoon.

Officials at Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital, where several victims are already admitted, said patients with fresh injuries, including a case of gunshot wound, were brought to the hospital around 10 am. “A patient named Nahil was brought in with a gunshot wound on his leg. He was later discharged. Besides, two other people were brought in with abrasions on their faces. They too were given primary treatment and discharged. No patient was brought in after 10 am,” the official said.

The atmosphere in Shiv Vihar remained charged through Thursday as police and RAF forces were deployed on main roads and crossings in Karawal Nagar area but not in the lanes leading to Shiv Vihar.

Through Wednesday night, several messages of people seeking help or facing the threat of violence in Shiv Vihar, Mustafabad, Ghonda and Maujpur were circulating on WhatsApp groups and Twitter.

Approximately four kilometres from Shiv Vihar, in Durgapuri Chowk, locals alleged that a similar mob had gathered. Residents shared videos shot by them on Wednesday night of a group of men walking around with rods and sticks. However, no violence was reported.

A police officer said, “There was violence two days ago but nothing has happened since then due to heavy police presence. We responded to emergency calls and messages and went to the spot to maintain peace. However, there are stubborn groups of people that would come out on the streets again as soon as we left. The situation is calm and police are deployed at several points.”

Messages seeking help and warning about violence and mobs emerged from Mustafabad area too, but locals dismissed them as rumours spread to create law and order issues. Amid heavy police presence in the area, residents said they are united and making efforts to ease the tension and ward off rumour-mongering.

“Yes, there was violence here on Tuesday, but the situation has been calm since. We have to live in harmony and condemn the false messages about violence and clashes,” said Jawed, a resident.

“Distress calls were made earlier when there was violence and perhaps those fed rumours in the last 24 hours. With the forces present, there is calm in the region, and we are personally maintaining vigil so that no one creates tension in the area,” said Akshit, a resident.

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