The Delhi Police received a whopping 7,500 calls for help in their police control room (PCR) helpline on Tuesday, the third day since violence broke out over the controversial citizenship law in northeast neighbourhoods of the national capital. Thirty-nine people have been killed. Hundreds are getting treated for injuries.
The police received the second-highest calls for help on Monday, with 3,500 calls logged, a senior Delhi Police officer has told NDTV. On Sunday last, the day the clashes broke out, the police received at least 700 calls for assistance, the officer said, asking not to be named.
On Wednesday, the PCR unit got 1,500 calls, the officer said.
Clashes broke out on Sunday last between supporters and those who are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA in northeast Delhi. The violence spiralled in the following days. Homes and shops were burnt, people were thrashed by mobs and vehicles were torched.
The Delhi Police has been criticised for being slow to react to the violence and for failing to file case against alleged hate speeches made by leaders like the BJP's Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma.
On Sunday last and in the following days, people alleged on social media that there was no police presence at several areas hit by violence.
Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with senior officers of the Delhi Police to review the situation on Thursday. The Home Ministry in a statement said considering the improvement in the situation, the ban on large gatherings in northeast Delhi areas hit by violence will be removed for 10 hours today - 4 am to 10 am, and 4 pm to 8 pm. "No major incident has been reported in the last 36 hours in... northeast (Delhi)," it said.
The Delhi Police has started holding peace meetings to "improve inter-community harmony", it said. "Such peace committee meetings would continue till situation normalises. So far, nearly 330 meetings have been organised," the Home Ministry said. It said the members who attended the peace meetings include people affiliated to political parties - BJP, Aam Aadmi Party, Congress - and members of resident welfare associations.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Tahir Hussain was suspended from the primary membership of his party on Thursday evening, after he was charged with murder and arson in connection with the death of Ankit Sharma, an Intelligence Bureau (IB) employee.