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Rioters attacked from all sides: How Delhi riots went out of control

ANI | Updated: Feb 29, 2020 22:12 IST


New Delhi [India], Feb 29 (ANI): Amid allegations that the Delhi Police did not respond appropriately to the violence in North-East District that erupted between two groups opposing and supporting new citizenship law, police sources said that all efforts were made to provide adequate personnel but at certain places, police were caught by surprise when the small gathering on February 22 night swelled to 2000-3000 the next morning at Jaffarabad metro station.
The anti-CAA protesters came and squatted at Jaffarabad metro station on February 22 night at 10 pm, top sources in the Delhi Police said on Saturday while giving details of the sequence of events and how the police controlled it.
"We thought that protesters will gather at the old site, which is around 500 meters away from Jafrabad metro station. 500-600 women and children and 400 male protesters using congested bylanes came to the metro station. The core members of the group were outsiders," they said.
Despite the fact that the deployment had limited women personnel, the police force did not allow the protesters to erect tents, use mike or any stage. "By morning on February 23, the crowd swelled to 2000-3000. We had limited staff," said sources.
On February 23, the Hindus said that they will block the entire stretch of Maujpur. "We tried to reason with them but they didn't listen," they said.

Top sources in the Delhi Police stressed the protesters started stone-pelting in the evening at Maujpur but the forces controlled it.
"In the evening on February 23, there was some problem at Chand Bagh. The DCP went there and controlled it. We made adequate arrangements for Monday -- February 24. US President Donald Trump's visit was on. The eastern range officers were exempted. Though it took time to mobilise the force, we still deployed sufficient officers," said sources.
They said their major concern was to protect Maujpur, adding that DCP, Shahdara, Amit Sharma reached Chand Bagh with four companies on February 24 at 9 am.
"At 9:30-10:00 am, DCP Shahdara got stuck because while managing one side of the crowd, the other side of the crowd attacked him. He was not injured with just a stray incident of stone-pelting. He was thrashed brutally in a manner that his helmet broke," sources said.
"The Head Constable was shot dead. Rattan Lal was shot from the left shoulder. The bullet pierced his heart and got stuck in the right arm. After the DCP was injured, the entire team was commanderless. The crowd and stone pelting was so much that even four companies of force were not enough. The full-fledged rioting started," said sources.
At many places, both communities resorted to firing using country-made revolvers. "Both communities were after each other and also against the police. At some places, the police were in the middle. Cops were stuck in the middle. We had to fire at both sides," they said.
At least 42 people have died and more than 200 people have sustained serious injuries in the communal violence that rocked north-east Delhi for four days. Two Special Investigation Teams (SIT) have been constituted under the Delhi Police's Crime Branch to investigate the violence. (ANI)

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