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Delhi riots: Massive stockpiling of arms caught cops off guard

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New Delhi, Feb 29: Massive stock-piling of arms and mobilisation of mobs is what led to the Delhi violence. The police were caught off guard at such mobilisation and in several instances were outnumbered.

Last Saturday there was palpable tension in Northeast Delhi. There were Intelligence Bureau reports about a possible flare up. However for the Delhi Police it was a catch 22 situation and its 73 reserve battalions were all over the city owing to the visit by US President Donald Trump.

Delhi riots: Massive stockpiling of arms caught cops off guard

The two special commissioners Satish Golcha and Praveer Ranjan were at northeast Delhi and the instruction was clear to the force- 'do not let the two groups clash.' Further the Delhi Police had very little back up at these areas as the reserve forces were spread out across Delhi on security duty for the Trump visit.

Northeast Delhi violence: Death toll mounts to 42

Following the riots the Intelligence Bureau conducted a detailed assessment of the situation prior to the riot breaking out. The report seen by OneIndia says that the police were clearly short-staffed and caught off guard. In no time they were dealing with a mob of 20,000 which turned violent, the assessment also says.

The mob then broke into smaller groups and dispersed to the other areas. The mobs then assembled in the narrow lanes and then the riot took place in full swing. The intensity of the riot was the highest on Monday, the report also said.

The Intelligence had conveyed that it had picked up information that there would be attempts made to embarrass the government during the Trump visit on February 24 and 25. This assessment was made on the basis of the tension that prevailed in northeast Delhi. Tempers also had flayed up after Kapil Mishra visited the area and demanded that the protesters be removed within three days or his group would do it.

On the other hand, the assessment done by the police says that the violence began when supporters of the Bhim Army pelted stones at those backing the new law. The assessment by the police which has been shared with the two Special Investigation Teams formed on Thursday state that stones were first pelted at 4.42 pm. This led to those backing the citizenship law chasing the Bhim Army supporters.

Following this the Bhim Army members asked the anti citizenship law protesters to gather in Kardampuri and Jafrabad. The police have also learnt that the mob was mobilised by the chief of the Bhim Army's Delhi unit, Himanshu Valmiki.

Once the mob was mobilised, there were frequent incidents of stone pelting. The Bhim Army had brought several persons including women to Jafrabad on Saturday itself to protest against the new law.

Delhi violence: Distress calls unanswered for 48-72 hours, police absent, report reveals

Meanwhile, top Delhi police source confirmed that criminals had supplied the arms. The death toll currently stands at 42 and 29 bodies have been identified. Of the 38, one of them had died to burn injuries, the hospital authorities said. Further it was also found that 82 had bullet injuries.

The source quoted above said that nearly 300 used cartridges have been recovered from the scene of violence. It has been learnt that petty criminals from the district had stocked weapons. Country made pistols, bullets were stocked and were handed out to the rioters at the time of the violence the police also learnt.

The police say that it was a well planned operation. The petty criminals were told to source the weapons and stock them. The number of cartridges found at the scene is alarming. This clearly indicates that the rioters had no intention of protesting, but getting on to the streets and killing, the police also said.

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