Ahooja Committee Report
F I R S T I N F O R M A T I O N R E P O R T
Till June, 1986 a total number of 403 FIRs were lodged with the Delhi Police on the basis of incidents occurred during the period 31st October, 1984 to 7th November, 1984. The Delhi Police registered 55 cases of murder, 5 cases of murder / looting, 70 cases of murder / arson and 16 cases of murder with arson. The final figure of deaths given by the Police on the basis of FIRs came to 1419.
The number of deaths as per the FIRs with the police cannot be taken as a reliable indicator of the total number of deaths during the riots. This is because, in many cases FIRs were not lodged either because the affected families had left Delhi or were reluctant to go to the police, or even if they did so, it is not certain that all the statements made by them were properly recorded. The Ranganath Misra Commission has also observed that, “such a tense panic situation prevailed that it became difficult for the families to lodge FIR.” In the words of the Commission: –
“It is a fact and the Commission on the basis of satisfaction records a finding that first information reports were not received if they implicated police or any person in authority and the informants were required to delete such allegations from written reports. When oral reports were recorded they were not taken down verbatim and brief statements dropping out allegations against police or other officials and men in position were written. Several instances have come to the notice of the Commission on where a combined FIR has been recorded in regard to several separate incidents.”
The Commission went on to observe that:
“During the period of riots what was of primary importance for the victims was to run away from the scene and conceal from notice of the rioters so as to escape certain death. In several instances those who had not been massacred were picked up either by police or Army personnel or through other agencies or by their own efforts and shifted to Relief Camps where they were maintained for sometime. Semi-normal conditions returned in different localities within 3-4 days but confidence took time to get restored and, therefore, until the victims returned to their localities quite sometime after, in most of the cases they did not know what exactly had happened, so as to make a full report, nor did they know as to who exactly had died or get assaulted.”
For the reasons, which have been graphically brought out by the Commission, no reliance can be placed on the figures of he deaths culled out from FIRs lodged with the police during or soon after the riots.
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