Delhi violence: The Home Ministry said peace meetings are being held in northeast Delhi areas (AFP)
- Amit Shah held a meeting with senior officers of Delhi Police
- Home Ministry said improvement in situation in Delhi
- Ban on large gatherings to be relaxed for 10 hours today
Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with senior officers of the Delhi Police to review the situation in Delhi following widespread violence over the controversial citizenship law that has left at least 42 dead. 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. Clashes broke out on Sunday last between supporters and those who are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in northeast Delhi. The violence spiralled in the following days. Homes and shops were burnt, people were thrashed by mobs and vehicles were torched in the clashes.
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People should "not believe in rumours and fall prey to evil designs of miscreants and groups interested in precipitating communal tension", the Home Ministry said in statement. "Only 12 police stations out of the 203 in Delhi or about 4.2 per cent of Delhi were been affected by these riots," it said.
The East Delhi Municipal Corporation is cleaning up the streets littered with debris and repairing damaged public properties in "riot-affected areas", the Home Ministry said in a statement.
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.
Forty-eight police cases have been filed and more will be registered "in due course", the Home Ministry said. Over 470 people have been detained for questioning, 100 have been arrested under preventive sections and five have been arrested in connection with the violence, the police said in their latest statement, adding more First Information Reports (FIRs) will be filed as investigation progresses.
The Delhi Police said it has formed two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to look into "serious offences". Some 7,000 central paramilitary personnel have been deployed in northeast Delhi since February 24. Additional deployments include 112 Delhi Police senior officers and 200 women police personnel, the Home Ministry said.
The Delhi Police has set up helplines - 22829334 and 22829335 - for round-the-clock assistance, the Home Ministry said.
Two security personnel were killed in the violence and some 70 were injured. "Adequate steps have been taken to ensure medical support to the injured," the statement said.
The Delhi Police has been 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.
No FIRs have been filed against BJP leaders for alleged hate speeches. The Delhi High Court on Thursday gave the police four weeks to take a call on this matter; on Wednesday Justice S Muralidhar had demanded an answer within 24 hours.
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.