The death toll from the riots in northeast Delhi currently stands at 32 as of Thursday morning, 27 February 2020. The dead include a newly-wed electrician who was killed just 11 days after marrying, a head police constable and an IB officer whose body was discovered by his father, a Delhi police officer.
The three-day long violence erupted during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India and he was in Delhi as another part of the city literally burned, but failed to comment on it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too waited until Trump had left the country and the number of killed stood at 21 until he tweeted asking Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood.
After being criticised for tweeting about happiness classes in schools during rioting, Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has asked for the army to be called. The Home Ministry had earlier said there was no need for the army even as Delhi Police declared it did not have adequate forces to deal with the violence immediately.
Courts and politicians have all started reacting – and in the latter’s case, blaming people.
The Congress held a press conference where Sonia Gandhi made a rare appearance and demanded Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation. BJP’s Union Minister Prakash Javadekar hit back, blaming the Congress for politicising the violence.
The Supreme Court has declared the deaths “disturbing” and Delhi High Court stated that we cannot have a repeat of the “1984 scenario”.
The Delhi HC has also asked the Delhi police to file FIRs against individuals who made inflammatory speeches and reportedly incited violence, including BJP leader Kapil Mishra who popularised the “gooli maaro saalon ko” chant and threatened to clear out the sit-in protests themselves without the police just a day before the riots broke out.
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