As riots broke out in north-east Delhi last week, its police force is taking inspiration from just kilometers across the border on how to deal with the aftermath.
After the UP police had decided to attach the properties of rioters to recover the damage to public property, Delhi Police has decided to follow in its footsteps, reports Hindustan Times. The Delhi Police has decided to recover the cost of damages to public and private property during the communal riots in north-east Delhi from the protestors themselves by imposing fines or attaching their properties, two Delhi Police officers familiar with development told HT on condition of anonymity.
A direction has already been issued in this regard to the Crime Branch’s Special Investigation Teams (SITs) and the local police to coordinate with civic authorities and Delhi government to assess the damage, one of the officers added.
The SITs have been tasked with identifying those who committed arson, looting, or otherwise damaged properties during the riots over four days and across almost all of north-east Delhi. It is suspected that several local criminals, including those with criminal records, took advantage of the situation in Jafrabad, Kardampuri, Karawal Nagar, Maujpur, Bhajanpura and other areas, and went on a rampage.
Delhi Police on Friday said they have identified at least 1000 rioters and have so far detained or arrested at least 630. Delhi Police believes properties worth hundreds of crores have been destroyed between Sunday and Wednesday.
The Delhi Police seems to be a taking a leaf out of the playbook of the UP Police, which had sent notices to at least 400 people identified as rioters to recover the damages to properties during anti-CAA protests in the state. The sealing of properties was done through a Supreme Court order passed on 1st October 2018 that declared that those responsible for damage to public property be made liable to compensate victims and reimburse the loss. The court had ordered agencies to take appropriate action against such persons under provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The order hadn’t been implemented until the UP government decided to go ahead and sent notices to rioters, and with the Delhi Police now following suit, it could set a precedent for how India deals with protests going forward.