Delhi riot toll rises to 42; life limps back to normalcy

NEW DELHI, FEB 28 (IANS) | Publish Date: 2/28/2020 12:31:14 PM IST

The death toll in Delhi’s communal violence rose to 42 on Friday as the situation showed some signs of returning to normalcy and clouds of smoke cleared to reveal the extent of the damage from the worst riots in the city in over three decades.

As people gingerly stepped out for work and opened shops and other establishments in northeast Delhi, anxiety escalated outside the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital where people waited outside the mortuary to receive the bodies of their loved ones.

Police and paramilitary personnel also maintained a strict vigil in view of the Friday prayers at mosques.

The maulvis of mosques in riot-hit areas appealed for peace and harmony and put out announcements asking people not to fall prey to rumours and cooperate with police.

GTB hospital has recorded 38 deaths, the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital three, while Jag Pravesh Chandra hospital reported one death, officials said. Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa, however, maintained that the death toll stood at 38. He told reporters that a total of 148 FIRs were registered and 630 people were either arrested or detained so far.

“No untoward incident was reported today,” he said, adding prohibitory orders were relaxed for 10 hours in several areas. 

500 vehicles, 79 houses damaged: Three days of violence in north-east Delhi resulted in burning down of at least 500 vehicles, 79 houses besides other places, official data revealed on Friday.

According to the official data of the fire department, at least 79 houses, 52 shops, 3 factories and 2 schools besides places of worship were burned down during the clashes.

A senior fire official said at least 218 calls were received of which 25 involved burning down of vehicles. 

The official also stated that at least 1,000 trips were undertaken by the fire fighting vehicles in the affected areas.

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