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Can't let another 1984 happen: Delhi HC

Death toll mounts to 27, court says ‘every victim should be visited by higher functionaries’

Cant let another 1984 happen: Delhi HC

New Delhi: In the wake of riots which have gripped north-east Delhi since February 23, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked highest functionaries in both state and Central government to personally meet the victims and their families.

"This is time to reach out and do confidence by building," the Bench comprising Justice Muralidhar and Talwant Singh said.

"We can't let another 1984 scenario happen in this city; not under the watch of this court," observed Justice Muralidhar.

"We heard that one IB officer has been attacked. These things should be immediately looked into," the judge added.

After the communal clashes claimed 27 lives, leaving more than 300 injured, a brittle quiet settled over parts of riot-hit north-east Delhi on Wednesday. According to officials, 25 have been reported dead at GTB Hospital, while two died at LNPJ Hospital. The situation remains tense in areas including Bhajanpura, Joharpuri, Mustafabad, Gokulpuri and Chand Bagh.

Fear hung over the area, littered with the detritus of a riot — mangled and charred vehicles, bricks, stones and jagged glass.

The Delhi High Court passed a slew of orders in the wake of riots which have gripped certain areas of the national Capital and directed higher functionaries to personally meet the victims to build confidence. The court passed these directions and observations while hearing a plea seeking safe passage of the injured in riots.

"It is extremely unfortunate what has happened. This is the time to show that Z security works for everybody. Otherwise, we cannot restore peace. Every victim should be visited by higher functionaries," the Bench stated.

The court also appointed Advocate Zubeda Begum to act as a nodal officer to coordinate with the victims and ensure effective implementation of its orders.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said the situation was under control and the police were doing their job after he visited the affected areas and interacted with locals on Wednesday. This is his second visit to the riot-hit areas in less than 24 hours.

At Jafrabad, a young girl walked up to him and said she does not feel safe in the area. She also blamed the police for "inaction". To her, he said: "I give you my word. Everyone is safe here." He also asked police personnel to ensure that the girl reaches home safely.

"People have a sense of unity among them, there is no enmity," he said.

"The situation is under control and people are satisfied. We have confidence in law enforcement agencies. Police are doing their job and are alert," he told reporters.

"If god wills, there will be peace and harmony here (Inshallah yahan par bilkul aman hoga)," he said.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday played the clip of BJP leader Kapil Mishra's alleged provocative speech in court room for the viewing of police officers.

Justice S Muralidhar, heading the Bench, asked for the playing of the clip after the police officer present in the Court told the Bench that he has not seen the speech.

"Let all of you watch it," Justice Muralidhar said. He had asked the police officer as to whether he had watched the clips of alleged inflammatory speeches of the BJP leader.

"I've watched two of them, haven't watched Kapil Mishra's video," the officer responded.

"This is really concerning. There are so many TVs in your office, how can police officer say that he hasn't watched the videos. I'm really appalled by the state of affairs of Delhi Police," Justice Muralidhar responded. After watching Mishra's speech, the police officer present in the court identified the DCP present in the video.

The Court also handed over the transcript of Mishra's speech to the Solicitor General.

"We want you to advise the Police Commissioner," Justice Muralidhar told the SG.

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