Police chief wants to reward personnel who handled Delhi riots cases, saved lives during violence

The Delhi Police Commissioner has sought the names of police personnel who can be rewarded for saving the lives of people during the Northeast Delhi riots, and for probing cases filed in connection with the violence that left 53 dead.

To this end, the police chief, S N Shrivastava, has asked police stations and investigating officers to send their details via their seniors. Four police personnel posted with the Special Cell have already received out-of-turn promotion – they were part of a special investigation team that arrested 21 people in an alleged conspiracy case, including former JNU student Umar Khalid, Jamia coordination committee’s media coordinator Safoora Zargar, and Pinjra Tod’s Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal.

A senior police officer said 755 cases were registered after the riots, and 62 key ones are being investigated by the Crime Branch. The Northeast district police had rescued around 1,100 people during the riots, the officer said.

Sources told The Indian Express that the police chief had earlier decided to reward the personnel after trials wrapped up, but has now opted not to wait. “DCPs of three special investigation teams of the Crime Branch have been asked to send details of cases they are handling and the legal status. Police personnel of Eastern range were, meanwhile, asked to send details of personnel who rescued people during the riots,” said an officer.

Referring to the riots during the 2020 annual review, DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwah and DCP (Crime) Joy Tirkey had said, “On February 22, 2020, in the late evening at about 10.30-11 pm, a crowd of about 1,000 persons, including 400-500 women and children, gathered and sat under Jafrabad Metro Station on main 66 Foota Road in a well-orchestrated way in response to a call of ‘Bharat Bandh’ by Chandra Shekhar Azad of Bhim Army. The protesters were raising slogans against the government and had clogged the traffic at 66-Foota Road going from Seelampur T-Point towards Maujpur. On February 23, the anti-CAA and pro-CAA groups came face-to-face near Maujpur and the situation worsened. Incidents of stone pelting and clashes were reported from various places.”

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