North East Delhi has been engulfed in violence for over 24 hours now. Houses and shops have been destroyed, over 100 vehicles have been burnt and over 200 people have been injured, including 48 police personnel while the latest reports state that at least 20 people have been killed so far.
According to the Times of India, several incidents of arson have been reported from Jafrabad, Babarpur, Brahmpuri, Gorakh Park, Maujpur, Bhajanpura, Kabir Nagar, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Karawal Nagar, Khajuri Khas and Kardampuri.
Multiple places have been seeing throwing of acid-like substance and hot water on people, 5 of whom have been admitted to the Lok Nayak Hospital.
The Wire has also reported the burning of mosques in the national capital. Mustafabad residents told reporters that men with rods and pistols had gathered outside the mosques in the area and attacked them. At the time, several children were inside the mosque and had also been attacked.
In the Ashok Nagar locality of North East Delhi, a mob shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Hinduon ka Hindustan’ placed ‘saffron Hanuman flag’ on top of the building.
This is from New Delhi, India. Islamophobic barbarians marching on top of a Mosque, vandalising it and placing a saffron flag over it. pic.twitter.com/T6tiqYCWZK— Harun Elbinawi (@ELBINAWI) February 26, 2020
Meanwhile, people who had been protesting outside CM Kejriwal’s residence demanding action against the perpetrators have been dispersed by Delhi Police.
Fire engines that had been deployed in violence-hit areas have been moved to another base. A senior fire officer overseeing the operation told reporters:
If the firemen hadn’t fled, they would have been burnt alive along with their vehicles.
The NSA has also clarified that lawlessness could not be allowed to remain in Delhi and informed that an ‘adequate’ number of police and paramilitary forces had been deployed. Reports state that Delhi Police has been given a free hand to bring the situation under control. Shoot on sight orders have also been issued in the district by Delhi Police SP in Yamuna Vihar
The Delhi high court also heard pleas on violence in the national capital late last night and said that it would examine a plea demanding an independent judicial inquiry, compensation for deceased and arrest of political leaders for inciting violence in Delhi’s northeast area.
The CBSE has also released a statement regarding the postponement of std. 10th and 12th board exams in the affected areas, ANI reported.
On the request of Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi and to avoid inconvenience to students, staffs and parents, the Board has decided to postpone Class 10 and 12 exams scheduled for February 26 in north east part of Delhi.
Central Board of Secondary Education: On the request of Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi and to avoid inconvenience to students, staffs and parents, the Board has decided to postpone Class 10 and 12 exams scheduled for February 26 in north east part of Delhi. pic.twitter.com/IFFtedikVR— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
The high court has also asked CBSE to provide a tangible solution regarding holding board exams in the region.
CM Kejriwal meanwhile went on Twitter and said that he would be speaking to Home Minister Amit Shah about calling in the army and imposing a curfew in the region.
I have been in touch wid large no of people whole nite. Situation alarming. Police, despite all its efforts, unable to control situation and instil confidence— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2020
Army shud be called in and curfew imposed in rest of affected areas immediately
Am writing to Hon’ble HM to this effect
Hearing pleas on the violence today, the Supreme Court admitted that what was happening was very unfortunate and should not have happened. It said that it was ‘not in favour of expanding the scope of pending case on Shaheen Bagh to take cognisance of recent violence in Delhi’.
I have my loyalty to constitution and I must express my anguish over the loss of life of people in Delhi and it’s high time that SC verdict in Prakash Singh case be implemented to make police more effective and professional.
-Justice KM Joseph
Justice Joseph also noted the lack of professionalism on part of the police, giving examples of the cops in the US & UK. Criticising the cops, the SC also said that the police didn’t have to wait for orders if someone made inflammatory statements and act in accordance with the law.
All the affected regions have now been placed under curfew in an attempt to stop the ongoing violence, while 800 more troops have been deployed for the same purpose.