New Delhi: While Delhi Police bore the brunt of being ‘mute spectators’ during the riots in northeastern parts of the capital recently, it has sprung back to action and detailed a chronology that led to the Delhi violence. The police have detailed how BJP leader Kapil Mishra sent text messages to his followers and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad mobilized people from minority-dominated areas to be a part of the riots that have led to the death of 53 people so far.
The police’s internal report accessed by IANS states that it was pro-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters who carried out attack on a Bhim Army vehicle. The Bhim Army activists then mobilized local people and retaliated.
The internal status report on riots in Delhi states: “On February 22, 2020 around 10:30 pm nearly 500 women began a protest near Jafrabad Metro Station against Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens. Seeing them, about 2,000 local youths join the protest.”
In the report, the police also stated that they tried to control the situation and roped in Maulana Shameem and Maulana Dawood for support and contained that situation.
“On February 23 morning, Kapil Mishra and Deepak Singh sent a message to their followers using social media, calling them to assemble at Maujpur Chowk in favour of CAA and NRC at 2:30 pm and to oppose the protest at Jafrabad,” the report said.
The police noted that Mishra accompanied by Deepak Singh arrived at the spot at 2.30 pm and stayed there for almost three hours. “Deepak Singh was kept away from the spot,” stated the report adding, “Bhim Army led by Chandrashekar had given a call for Bharat Bandh the same day.”
The police thereafter explains how rioting began at 5 pm the same day.
“One vehicle carrying Bhim Army supporters was attacked by pro-CAA supporters at Maujpur Chowk,” the report said.
“They (Bheem Army) retaliated by calling more people from Kardampuri and Kabir Nagar which led to incidents of stone-pelting from both sides,” the report stated.
The police point out that police personnel were inadequate and that two companies led by a police officer were sent to contain the situation.
Around 8 pm, Kardampuri became a flashpoint with both sides trying to take on each. This led Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar and Deputy Commissioner of Police North East Ved Prakash Surya to rush to the spot to control the situation.
In police report, February 24 is known as the ‘Fateful Day’.
On February 24, the rioting started at 10 am. The aggression from both sides escalated in Kardampuri, Chand Bagh, Bhajanpura, Yamuna Vihar, Brij Puri T point. Both groups started clashing and shouting slogans.
Five Deputy Commissioners of Police and a Joint Commissioner of Police were deployed in a coordinated matter to contain the situation. However, massive stone-pelting started at Kardampuri and Sherpur Chowk.
Two policemen — DCP Shahadra Amit Sharma and ACP Gokulpuri Anuj Kumar — suffered injuries and Head Constable Ratan Lal lost his life after being hit by rioters.
The clashes continued the entire day and many shops were gutted and a petrol pump burned and looted. Many houses were also burnt and damaged. A lot of people could have died or injured.
“Places such as Ghonda, Noor-e-Elashi, Brahmapuri Lane Number 1 and 3, Chand Bag and Sherpur Bazar became another fresh flashpoints,” stated the police report.
February 25, riots, arson and looting were witnessed at nine police stations — Khajuri Khas, Sonia Vihar, Welcome, Jafrabad, Dayalpur, Jyoti Nagar, Gokulpuri, Bhajanpura and New Usmanpur.
As many as 25 flashpoints surfaced which included Shiv Vihar, Karawl Nagar, Ganga Nagar and Bhagirathi Vihar. The rioting spillover continued into February 26.
The police report stated: “Sufficient outside police force was deployed in addition to local strength. The rioters and police fought several pitched battles.”
When asked about police’s internal report, which highlights the role of Kapil Mishra and Chandrashekhar Azad in the riots, Additional Commissioner of Police and Delhi Police’s Public Relations officer MS Randhawa said, “I am not aware of any such report.”
Randhawa further pointed: “Delhi police is probing riot incidents with all angles. Whoever figures during the investigation will be probed and booked accordingly. We have registered more than 600 cases so far and detained nearly 1,800 people.”
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