Delhi Police face Supreme Court wrath, toll rises to 27

The apex court lashed out at the law enforcing agencies for allowing the “instigators of violence” to get away and said they should act “independently" as per law without waiting for somebody’s nod

By Author  |  Published: 27th Feb 2020  12:36 amUpdated: 27th Feb 2020  12:51 am
People carrying their belongings as they move to a safer place at Chandbagh after recent clashes broke out between two groups over the new citizenship law, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court rebuked Delhi Police on Wednesday for failing to act “professionally” and to check “unfortunate incidents” of violence in north-east Delhi which has left 27 people dead and scores injured, but refused to entertain pleas related to the riots over the new citizenship law, CAA.

The apex court lashed out at the law enforcing agencies for allowing the “instigators of violence” to get away and said they should act “independently” as per law without waiting for somebody’s nod. “If somebody makes an inflammatory remark, police has to take action,” it said. Though the top court did not look into the applications on the violence, it said there was a need for “conducive environment” to go into the matters related to Shaheen Bagh protests.

A Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph said it will not expand the scope of petitions filed in connection with Shaheen Bagh protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), by looking into the pleas on violence.

The death toll in north-east Delhi communal violence rose to 22 on Wednesday from 13 the day earlier. Around 200 people have been injured. After the applications were disposed of, there was a sharp exchange of words between the Bench and the Solicitor General, when Justice Joseph said he wanted to say something on the issue of violence. Mehta urged the Bench not to make any adverse observations relating to the violence as it will demoralise the police force.

Justice Joseph said, “I will make the remarks as my loyalty is to the institution. I will fail in my duty towards the institution and as a judge, if I don’t speak up my mind on the issue”. He added, “There was lack of independence and professionalism on part of the police. Unless you allow the police to act. Look at how police acts in UK and USA. Do they require somebody’s nod to act as per law. If somebody makes an inflammatory remark, police has to take action. The guidelines in the Prakash Singh judgment needs to be followed.” He said: “The police had been reluctant in implementing the Prakash Singh judgement. It cannot wait for any approval to let the instigators get away. Had the police acted in a professional manner, this situation would not have arisen. These things would not have happened had police not allowed instigators to get away”. Justice Joseph further said: “Don’t misunderstand me, my remarks are being made keeping in mind larger perspective.”

That verdict dealt with police reforms which included guidelines on separation of law and order and investigation. The bench said that it has nothing against Delhi Police but its remarks have long term implications and it was for the law enforcing administration to ensure environment is conducive. When a lawyer from petitioner side pointed that protestors at a road in Shaheen Bagh are using their right to protest as a weapon, the bench said, “Now a days, lot of people are using lot of things. Let the police and administration do whatever necessary”. The Bench posted the matter for hearing on March 23, saying there is a need for magnanimity and for situation to cool down before Shaheen Bagh issue is taken up.

PM reviews situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday appealed for peace and brotherhood, and said he has held an extensive review of the prevailing situation in various parts of the national capital.

He also said it was important that calm and normalcy was restored at the earliest. “Had an extensive review on the situation prevailing in various parts of Delhi. Police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy,” Modi tweeted. “Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times,” he added.

IB staffer found dead

An Intelligence Bureau staffer was on Wednesday found dead in a drain in northeast Delhi’s riot-hit Chand Bagh area where he lived, officials said.
Ankit Sharma, 26, was missing since Tuesday and may have been killed in stone pelting, they said. His body was taken to the GTB Hospital for an autopsy.
“He left home around 5.30 pm on Tuesday and has been missing since then,” his brother Ankur said.

Don’t want another 1984: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court directed Delhi Police to take a “conscious decision” on the registration of FIRs against three prominent political leaders for allegedly inciting violence in the national capital.

“We are not confining to these clips but any clip on which an FIR needs to registered. Wrong signal is being sent out. We do not not want another 1984,” said Justice Muralidhar.

‘Inshallah yahan par bilkul aman hoga’

New Delhi: The situation in the violence-hit northeast Delhi was under control and the police was doing their job, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said after he visited the affected areas and interacted with locals on Wednesday. He was greeted warmly at some places, but at a location two agitated locals complained about the violence. This is his second visit to the riot-hit areas in less than 24 hours. “Police is working hard. Only some criminals were involved in this. One should try resolving issues and not increasing them. There were incidents earlier but today it is calm. Locals want peace. We have full faith there will be peace,” he said. “If god wills, there will be peace and harmony here (Inshallah yahan par bilkul aman hoga),” he said.

Hyderabad police on high alert

With the violence in Delhi continuing for the last three days, the Hyderabad police are on high alert to prevent any possible trouble in the city.

Senior police officials are closely monitoring the situation in the communally sensitive pockets of the city. All Station House Officers and Assistant Commissioners of Police were asked to stay till late in the night and monitor the situation. City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar on Tuesday night spent around three hours in the older parts of the city and moved around in different areas. The police will continue to be vigilant for the next few days.

Amit Shah must quit: Sonia

New Delhi: Holding the Central and the Delhi governments responsible for the communal violence in the city that has left at least 24 dead, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday demanded Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation as she addressed a rare press conference. She spoke to the media after chairing a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, and alleged there was a “well-planned” conspiracy behind the violence, that has also led to injuries to more than 200 people over the past three days.

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