New Delhi: As the death toll steadily rose to 27 and over 200 are reportedly injured, an eerie calm prevailed in the entire riot-hit northeast Delhi on Wednesday morning, after nearly 48 hours of unchecked communal conflagration that has left in its wake not just charred remains of homes, business establishments, and even entire localities in Jafradabad, Maujpur, Chand Bagh, Karawal Nagar, but also a delicately maintained harmony.
Heavy deployment of police, paramilitary forces was visible in these areas on Wednesday, the day National Security Advisor Ajit Doval reached the riot-torn spots assuring protection and safety after facing public ire. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also made his first appearance in the riot torn areas late Wednesday evening.
After US President, Donal Trump’s departure last night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the third day of riots, reacted for the first time and appealed for peace and brotherhood.
While the administration appealed for peace, the body of an IB employee was recovered from a culvert at Chand Bagh area Wednesday morning.
While who killed whom will remain a matter of endless police inquiries and judicial probes, the Delhi Police said that it has arrested 106 people for their alleged involvement in the violence and registered 18 FIRs.
Chand Bagh, which was one of the busiest areas, teeming with people from all communities and known for its frenetic pace, has turned into a ghost town.
Frightened residents peeped from behind half-closed doors and windows. Shops, schools, and business establishments that had been spared remain shut.
Streets were littered with mangled remains of burnt vehicles, bricks and burnt tires, mute testimony to the violence and bloodshed that continued for nearly three days while the Central and Delhi administration failed to act.
After over 72 hours of rioting that began on Sunday night hours, lathi-wielding and gun-totting CRPF and Saharsha Seema Bal (SSB) jawans marched through the entire stretches of Jaffrabad Road.
They rained blows on anyone stepping out of their homes. “Curfew hai, bhag andar,” they screamed while swinging their long lathis at those who ventured out.
In the Hindu-dominated pockets of Chand Bagh and Karawal Nagar many Muslim families left their homes for safer places under police protection.
In Karawal Nagar, at least 60 Muslim houses lay abandoned.
Carrying a child in her arms, Rukhsana of Karawal Nagar, looked completely lost. She has been staying in a Hindu-dominated pocket for decades, but today police personnel were “urging” Muslims in the area to move to a safer place “till the situation improves.”
“I have not seen anything like this in the last 40 years,” said 65-year-old Rajendra Kumar Mishra. “We lived in perfect harmony till the BJP leader Kapil Mishra began provoking people,” he said....