Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting this evening to review the law and order situation in Delhi after clashes in parts of the national capital over the citizenship law killed 38 people and injured over 300. The meeting was attended by senior police and government officials, including the Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and Special Commissioner (Law and Order) SN Srivastava.
According to officials, no major incident had been reported across any of the affected areas in the last 36 hours. Orders banning large gatherings, issued under Section 144, would be relaxed for 10 hours on Friday, in view of improving ground situation, they added.
Delhi Police, which was criticised for being slow to react to the violence and for failing to file FIRs over alleged hate speeches made by leaders like the BJP’s Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma, have filed 48 FIRs so far, over clashes and loss of lives and property.
No FIRs have been filed against BJP leaders for alleged hate speeches, after the Delhi High Court today gave the cops four weeks to take a call on this matter; on Wednesday Justice S Muralidhar had demanded an answer within 24 hours.
Over 500 suspects have been detained or arrested; this number will increase as investigations proceed, the cops have said, adding that two Special Investigation Teams (SITs), to be led by Deputy Commissioners, have been set up to probe serious offences.
As part of the government’s efforts to control the violence, “confidence-building measures” have been encouraged by the Home Ministry.
Cops have begun holding peace committee meetings to restore normalcy; nearly 330 such have been set up, in addition to meetings with residents’ associations and civil society groups.
Violence broke out across northeast Delhi on Sunday with armed mobs carrying iron rods, sticks and guns defied police orders banning large gatherings to rampage through the streets, committing arson and vandalism and terrifying residents.
Police sources said today that WhatsApp groups may have been used by miscreants to organise themselves and hired thugs and target specific localities.
The Home Ministry, which has also tasked National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with restoring calm and order, has made another appeal for peace and not believe rumours.