March 1, 2020 10:13 pm

False Rumours Of Violence Spark Panic In Parts Of Delhi

NEW DELHI - Panic gripped the residents of several parts of Delhi on Sunday evening following false rumours of violence, even as the Delhi Police and AAP leaders denied any incident and appealed people to remain calm.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said it had shut down the entry and exit gates of seven metro stations but did not give any reason. The stations were later reopened.

"A rumour has been noticed that there is some tension in Khyala-Raghubir Nagar area of West District. There is no truth behind it. All are requested to keep calm as the situation is absolutely normal & peaceful," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) West Deepak Purohit said.

"There are some rumours regarding some communal tension in Tilak Nagar and Khyala areas. It is intimated that there is no tension in Tilak Nagar and Khyala and the whole west district area. Nothing to worry about," he added.

Police said some "unsubstantiated reports" of tension in southeast and west districts were circulated on social media.

"It is to reiterate that these are all rumours. Don''t pay attention to such rumours. Delhi Police is closely monitoring accounts spreading rumours and taking action," they said, adding that rumours about tension in Dwarka and Badarpur areas were also "unsubstantiated".

The DCPs of some police districts and station house officers (SHOs) of police stations took to Twitter to assure people that their areas were peaceful and normal.

However, shopkeepers downed shutters and vendors closed weekly markets as people rushed home early in several areas, including Subhash Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri and Khyala areas in west Delhi.

Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh too urged people to remain calm.

"I reached at the site as soon as I heard of the rumour of riots, shops were shut people were in a state of panic but no one saw any riots happening. It was a conspiracy to spread rumours and spoil the atmosphere. I appeal to people to maintain peace and brotherhood and do not believe the rumours," he said.

Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Subhash Nagar, said he had gone to a mall in west Delhi when at around 7:45 pm, he witnessed sudden commotion.

"The outlets inside the mall began shutting down and the situation remained tense for nearly 20 minutes before police arrived and assured everyone that the situation was normal," he said.

Meanwhile, the metro stations which were briefly shut down included Tilak Nagar, Nangloi, Surajmal Stadium, Badarpur, Tughlakabad, Uttam Nagar west and Nawada.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said he spoke to acting Delhi Police chief S N Shrivastava on the rumours of fresh violence in the national capital and was ensured that the situation was under control.

Anxious people also took to Twitter asking if the rumours were true.

Police said that they were talking to people to assure that nothing untoward has happened and they should remain calm.

The AAP MP, in a tweet, requested people not to pay heed to any rumours.

"Rumours of violence are being spread in Delhi. In this regard I spoke to Delhi CP (commissioner of police) and he said that reports of violence are rumours and the law and order situation of the national capital is completely under control," he tweeted.

He also posted a video of AAP leader Amanatullah Khan saying there are rumours being spread that fights have broken out in Madanpur Khadar, Jaitpur and Okhla areas.

"These are all rumours senior officers are present there. Please don''t listen to rumours. If anyone says that violence has broken out, ask them for evidence. Don''t get frightened. We all have to fight these rumours. Rumours spread panic and that in turn leads to violence. Believe that we are all with you," he said in the video.

AAP leader Atishi also took to Twitter and said she received WhatsApp messages about mobs in Govindpuri and Kalkaji areas.

"These rumours are all false. Situation is peaceful. Police is patrolling the area," she said asking people to remain calm.

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