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GOVERNMENT ORGANISED CARNAGE [Sarkari Qatl-e-Aam]
FROM GURCHARAN SINGH BABBAR

NEWSPAPER REPORTS ABOUT THE VIOLENCE

Wednesday, October 31, 1984. Official Press Release

The police has been asked to patrol the city and section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been imposed. Three companies of Delhi Armed Police have been asked to patrol the city.

These orders will stand until further notice.

November 1, 1984 (Indian Express)

Five police officials, like the rest of the citizens, could get no help from the police. Police was to be seen nowhere in the city. Helpless calls to the police control room number (100) either went unheard or the callers had to make do with parroted reply, the police cannot do anything to help in the situation.

November 2, 1984 (Indian Express)

The government on Wednesday ordered the army and the BSF to take control of the capital but they were nowhere to be seen. Said a duty officers in Nizamuddin police station, I have been trying to contact the CRPF and BSF every ten minutes over the phone but have been repeatedly told that nothing can be done.

November 2, 1984 (Indian Express)

Officials of the home ministry and PMO met here late on Wednesday night to discuss ways to stop the spread of violence in the wake of Mrs. Gandhi’s assassination.

November 1, 1984 (Times of India)

The army was called into the Capital after 60 people died and another 1,000 injured in communal violence followings Mrs. Gandhi’s assassination. Barring the new Delhi District, curfew has been imposed in the entire city for an indefinite period. Shoot-at-sight orders were also issued on Wednesday evening.

November 2, 1984 (Indian Express quoting PTI)

Top officials of the law-enforcing machinery were given no clear directions to deal with the situation and the police remained a mute spectator to the violence………Although the situation had gone out of control, the Lt. Governor failed to alert the army until Wednesday. It took him 24 hours to impose curfew and to call in the army.

November 4, 1984 (Indian Express, Dev Sagar Singh)

Local leaders in many areas were warning people over mikes not to drink that water supplied by the Municipal corporation.

November 3, 1984 (Statesman)

Making mockery of statistics, police Commissioner Subhash Tondon today said (Nov 2) that 15 to 20 people have been killed in the city. Lt. Governor PG Gavai added that the situation is under control. The army personnel pressed into service following an order on Thursday, were just a symbolic presence. Reinforcements were sent in only on Friday and Saturday until when violence continued.

November 3 (Indian Express)

On Friday, violence took place on a massive scale in the city, perhaps the bloodiest day in its history. Hundreds were killed. Not even a head-count was available. Entire colonies were wiped out. In east Delhi alone, 500 people were killed. In this senseless massacre, east Delhi was the worst affected, almost dyed in blood. There were 200 corpses in the mortuary attached to the Tis Hazari police station alone.

There were 350 corpses in a single street of Trilokpuri. A couple of army officers were spotted at the place but they had no control over the all-out violence nor orders to shoot.

November 3, 1984 (Indian Express)

The police condemned the role of political leaders. A spokesman alleged that when the police tried to stop the violence, they were snubbed by Metropolitan Councillors who were egging on the mobs to violence. Police officials had no clue as to that Mr. Kamal Nath was doing in Rakabganj. Besides, the police said that it had no clear orders to deal with the situation. According to a source, the top police officials just inquired repeatedly about the situation over wireless but not once did they advise any steps to control the situation.

November 3, 1984 (Statesman)

Curfew imposed on November 1, has been relaxed in five out of the six districts of Delhi. The fresh order will see curfew relaxation from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

November 4, 1984 (Times of India)

Most part of Delhi had the army to take care of law and order but it became fully operational only when 3,000 army personnel, reserved as an escort force for Mrs. Gandhi’s funeral procession, were put on security duty in the city.

November 4, 1984 (Telegraph)

Executive Magistrates have been given powers to give shoot-at-orders, if necessary.

November 4, 1984 (Economic Times)

Police Commissioner SC Tondon has ordered an enquiry into the violence in Mongolpuri, where a large number of people were killed. A Deputy Police Commissioner (DPC) will head the enquiry and, according to Mr. Tondon, the survivors allegation about violence here having been organised and pre-planned would also be investigated.

November 4, 1984 (Times of India)

Armed mobs were prowling the streets of Mongolpuri. The Statesman correspondent saw people carrying a dead child. On the pavement of the main road to the colony, a dead body was burning. Although one end of the colony has the Delhi Police on duty apparently, nobody dared enter the colony. The Correspondent was smoke billowing out of a shop being burnt and looted in Bhogal on Saturday evening but the police and the army personnel denied that there was any trouble in the area.

Representatives of both the communities in Bhogal said that they had never faced any communal trouble before and believe that the killer mobs included people from the neighbouring areas. It is learnt that two junior police officials prompted the mob to violence.

November 5 (Economic Times quoting PTI)

In his first press briefing after taking over as Lt. Governor, Mr Wali said, no step would be too harsh to stop the violence. He said, 1809 people had been arrested in connection with the violence.

November 5 (Times of India)

The Central District (Delhi) police have arrested 300 people suspected to be in possession of the loot during the violence but local leaders of the Congress (I) went to the police station to protest against this. Mr. Dharam Das Shastri said, the police is free to recover the loot but it has no right to arrest them because they are not criminals.

November 6 (Indian Express)

Seven relief camps in trans-Yamuna were filled with 25,000 Sikhs on Monday morning. The administration has yet to set up any relief camp and the ones already established are being run by voluntary organisations

November 6 (Indian Express)

A total 2517 people have been arrested but Mr. Wali could not tell how many of them have been released on bail. However, he said, that in some cases every citizen has the right to parole. He denied that he was under political pressure to recover the loot during the violence.

November 7 (Statesman)

At a press conference, Mr. Wali said that the government has drawn a rehabilitation plan for the victims families although the monetary compensation being given is only a token. He added, however, that even with this token money the survivors could build new houses because most of the damaged houses are in the urban rehabilitation colonies.

November 7 (India Express)

Several police officials say that relief work is being hampered by political interference. A Congress MP intruded into the press conference of the Police Chief and shouted at him, you will do as I say.

November 7 (Statesman)

There was no sign of any relief work being carried out by the administration until late on Tuesday night in the Tilak Nagar Gurudwara. A thousand people have taken shelter here from Uttam Nagar, Nangloi, Najafgarh, Govindpuri and Mongolpuri. The sanitary facilities here are as bad as in the rest of the camps.

 

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