The Delhi Police had received about 13,200 distress calls during the four days when the national capital was hit by clashes, but call records of police stations in the violence-hit areas raise serious doubts over the response to those calls.
Over the four days of the violence, from February 23 to 26, the number of distress calls to the police control room rose sharply, from 700 on 23rd (Sunday), to 3,500 calls on the 24th, peaking at 7,500 calls on the 25th, before coming down to 1,500 calls on the 26th, matching the rise and dip in the intensity of the rioting on those days.
NDTV reviewed call registers in at least two police stations in violence-hit areas.
At the Bhajanpura police station, which is responsible for the Yamuna Vihar area where violence had broken out, a police officer told us they had received anywhere between 3,000-3,500 calls between February 24-26.
We reviewed over eight pages of their register.
Each page had nine columns, including details about the complainant, gist of the complaint, when it was received, and what action was taken.
The complaints ranged from alerts of bullets being fired and vehicles being set on fire in Yamuna Vihar, to stones being thrown in the same area.
In most of the cases that we reviewed, the column for action taken was blank.
For instance, a call received at 6:57 pm on Monday the 24th from a “lady caller” of Yamuna Vihar spoke of how “there was a riot happening.”
But against this call, as well as most others, the action taken column was blank.
A BJP councillor in Yamuna Vihar, Pramod Gupta said his repeated calls to the police went unanswered.
“Police wasn’t able to control the situation. If police could have controlled, then this would have definitely not happened,” he said.
In the nearby area of Shiv Vihar, Rajdhani Public School, a private school, was overrun for over 60 hours by rioters.
The owner Faisal Farukh, said that he kept making calls to the police but they never came.
“They attacked us on Monday. By 2 pm all the students and staff had left and around 4-5 pm all of this happened. We kept calling the police but they just kept saying ‘we are coming’. But they never came,” he said.
Shiv Vihar falls under Karawal Nagar police station.
A review of the logs at the police station show at least two calls being made at around 3:54 pm on Monday, saying that the school was being attacked. The action taken column in both these cases says that it is pending.
Several other distress calls to the police station were also marked as ‘pending’.