The death toll in northeast Delhi communal violence over the amended citizenship law rose to 20 on Wednesday, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal flagged that the situation has become “alarming” and the Army should be called in as police is “unable to control it”.
According to GTB Hospital authorities, the number of injured now stands at 189, however, the situation at the hospital “seems to be settling”.
Communal violence over the amended citizenship law had escalated in northeast Delhi on Tuesday as police struggled to check the rioters who ran amok on streets, burning and looting shops, pelting stones and thrashing people.
On Tuesday, the death toll was 13.
“The death toll has risen to 20 today,” Medical Superintendent of GTB Hospital, Sunil Kumar, told PTI.
Earlier, at least four bodies were brought to the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital from the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) Hospital, a senior official said.
Later, while interacting with reporters, GTB MS said, from Tuesday midnight it is a “trickle of patients and not a gush of injured persons as was earlier”.
These patients have several kinds of injuries, including from gunshots, many sustained trauma from jumping from rooftops to escape violence, many received head injuries, he said.
“We are fully prepared with doctors, nurses, paramedics, consumables, linen and other paraphernalia and and hoping that the situation won't worsen from here,” he said.
Asked if the victims have been identified, Kumar sad, “Many people have been identified, some are yet to be”.
Meanwhile, television visual showed DCP Northeast Ved Prakash Surya along with a posse of police personnel conducting a flag march in the violence-hit areas seeking to boost confidence of people and bring the situation to normal.
Chief Minister Kejriwal said the situation has become “alarming”, adding that he is writing to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“I have been in touch with large no. of people whole nite (night). Situation alarming. Police, despite all its efforts, unable to control situation and instil confidence (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.
“Army shud (should) be called in and curfew imposed in rest of affected areas immediately. Am writing to Hon'ble HM to this effect,” he added.
After Monday night, incidents of arson, tension had smouldered in the national capital and on Tuesday, streets in several localities like Chand Bagh, Bhajanpura, Gokulpuri, Maujpur, Kardampuri and Jaffrabad saw pitched battles between the members of two groups who also hurled petrol bombs and opened fire.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval late last night also took stock of the situation, sources said.
Meanwhile, in a midnight hearing, the Delhi High Court directed police to ensure safe passage and emergency treatment for those injured in the violence over the amended citizenship law.
The hearing took place at the residence of Justice S Murlidhar on an urgent plea seeking safe passage for the injured to medical institutions with adequate facilities.
The Delhi High Court later also directed police to respond by 12:30 pm on Wednesday to a plea seeking lodging of FIRs and arrests of those involved in the ongoing communal violence in parts of northeast Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA)....