The death toll in the violence that broke out in northeast Delhi five days ago reached 42 after a 60-year-old man was beaten to death in Shiv Vihar early Friday morning, despite heavy police deployment in the area.
According to police, 123 FIRs have been filed so far following the violence in the area, 630 people detained and 47 peace committee meetings held in affected localities. “We have controlled the situation in northeast Delhi,” Additional CP M S Randhawa told reporters.
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Police identified Friday’s victim as Ayub Ansari, a scrap collector and resident of Loni in Ghaziabad, around 2 km from Shiv Vihar. They said a probe is underway and no arrest had been made so far.
Incidentally, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had visited the area two days ago and Home Minister Amit Shah had held a meeting Thursday to discuss the situation.
Police have so far identified 36 bodies of victims of the violence. Apart from Ayub, the others identified Friday were Mubarak Husen (28), Dilbur Negi (20), Monis (21), Babbu Salmani (33) and Faizan (24).
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ayub’s son’s, 18-year-old son Salman Ansari, said a group of “unknown people” brought his father, who was severely injured, to their home from where he took him to a local clinic on their scrap cart around 6 am. After first-aid, Salman said, they left for further treatment at GTB Hospital but his father died on the way.
“My father had been at home for the last few days because of the violence. Today, he left around 4 am-5 am to collect scrap. I was woken up when some unknown people brought him to our home. He had injuries on his head, body and legs. He was still conscious at the time and told me that some men had stopped him in Shiv Vihar and asked him his name. Once he answered, they beat him,” he said.
Salman claimed that they called UP Police who didn’t provide him with a vehicle. “I carried my father to a nearby private clinic on the cart in which we keep the scrap material,” he said.
Salman, who also works as a scrap collector, said the clinic provided first-aid and bandaged the wounds. “But I could not get him admitted there because I was told it would cost us Rs 5,000,” he claimed.
“It was clear that my father needed further medical attention, so I let him rest for some time and then took him in an auto to GTB hospital. But on the way, I could see him weakening and bleeding. He died on the way,” said Salman, weeping outside the mortuary in the afternoon.
Both of them used to earn Rs 300-400 per day, Salman said. “I have nobody left in this world,” he said, adding that his mother no longer lived with them.
The northeast district, meanwhile, saw peace meetings and police flag marches as residents attempted to pick up the pieces after days of violence.
At Farrukhiya mosque in New Mustafabad, residents gathered on the roof for Friday prayers in batches around 1 pm. On Tuesday, a portion of the mosque and the neighbouring madarsa had been destroyed.
“The mosque sustained damage, but we have to move on. Our priority is that no more violence takes place. Initially, there was apprehension about coming out for prayers but we believe the area will recover,” said Shahil, a resident of Mustafabad.
The stretch between Brijpuri crossing and Mustafabad was marked with stones on the roads, battered walls and torched establishments, including houses and a school. While the East Delhi Municipal Corporation started cleaning the area, Delhi Police and CRPF personnel manned the entrances of lanes in both Old Mustafabad and New Mustafabad.
In Bhagirathi Vihar Phase 1, conversations revolved around the role of “outsiders”. “We have a school here and children need to come and study. We are being vigilant and the area is on the edge,” said Gaurav Jain, a resident.
Shiv Vihar remained tense, with many residents seeking shelter with relatives in other parts of the city. On the stretch between Karawal Nagar and Shiv Vihar, a burnt car or shop could be seen every 50 metres.
Two kilometres away in Chand Bagh, as a small group of policemen kept watch, residents said “the real test” would be once the forces start leaving.
Additional CP Randhawa said: “A total of 123 FIRs have been registered and local police, along with Crime Branch, are looking into the cases…25 cases of firearms have been registered. We have detained 630 people and more will be detained as the probe is going on. We have conducted over 47 peace committee meetings in northeast Delhi. Over 400 such meetings were held in different parts of Delhi.”
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