NEW DELHI – The death toll in the riots that erupted across northeast Delhi last month has risen to 52, with another death being reported from the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on Thursday.
At least 44 deaths – 43 men and 1 woman – have been reported by the hospital, while three deaths were reported from the LNJP Hospital and five from RML Hospital.
GTB Hospital’s Medical Director Sunil Kumar said: “Most of the deceased were young, as they fell in the age group between 20 to 40. Out of the 44 dead, only one is female.”
He also said that 298 patients have been treated so far at the hospital.
Property worth crores was reported to be damaged in the violence that continued for four days in northeast Delhi after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters took a communal colour.
The issue has rocked Parliament, after Congress-led opposition raised the issue for discussion leading to the adjournment in both the houses.
Delhi Police Arrests Tahir Hussain
The Delhi Police Crime Branch on Thursday arrested expelled AAP Counciller Tahir Hussain, soon after different Delhi Courts dismissed his surrender application and bail plea, respectively.
Hussain had moved an application to surrender before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja earlier.
The former AAP leader, who is alleged to have a hand in the murder of Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma, had moved the application after absconding for several days.
In his surrender application, he cited that he wished to join investigation and sought protection of his life and his properties.
Crime Branch officers reached the spot even as the surrender hearing was underway.
A team of two DCPs, four ACPs and 10 inspectors were specifically asked to track Tahir Hussain, sources said.
Delhi Police will now produce him in Karkardooma Court after his medical formalities.
The Karkardooma court also rejected Tahir Hussain’s anticipatory bail plea observing that he appeared in another court.
The suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor was absconding in a murder case during the Delhi riots, has been booked in attempt to murder case during the violence.
Riot-Hit Families At Mustafabad Camp Now Fear Coronavirus
Hundreds of riot-hit families sheltered at an Eidgah in Mustafabad in Northeast Delhi are regularly urged to wash their hands and maintain cleanliness. Volunteers provide medicines and sanitisers and health experts counselling.
Already battling mental trauma following the deadly communal riots, the families are now faced with another challenge: the threat of novel coronavirus.
The volunteers and health professionals don’t say the word “coronavirus” for fear of stoking panic among the people at the camp who include a large number of children.
A lot of people have been complaining about cough, cold, vomiting and fever, said Laik Ahmad, from Doctors’ Unity Welfare Association, which has set up a free health camp at the Eidgah.
“Besides medicines, we have been asking them to use masks and wash their hands. But we don’t take the name ‘coronavirus’. It may create panic among people who have already been going through a lot,” Ahmad, 43, said.
Doctors and volunteers said all steps were being taken to keep the compound clean but maintaining hygiene with so many people is a challenge. There are only a few mobile toilets, which has put the elderly, women and children to a lot of trouble.
Members of healthcare teams said representatives of various organisations have been visiting the camp and there is a need for everyone to take proper precautions.
“We have enough soap and water but there’s a shortage of masks,” Ahsan Saifi, another doctor, said.
Ankita Upreti from Self-Employed Women’s Association said volunteers have been trying to ensure there’s no panic among people due to the virus, which has infected 30 people across the country.
“These people have gone through so much… There are lot of problems to deal with and we have not been able to pay attention to coronavirus threat properly. For now, we are asking people to maintain cleanliness and wash their hands,” she said.
On Thursday, the government asked states to form rapid response teams at district, block and village levels.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has announced that all primary schools in Delhi will remain closed till March 31 to prevent the possibility of spread of the virus.
Arman, a healthcare team member, said announcements are being made, asking people to wash hands and collect masks from volunteers at health camps.
“Lekin jab ghar hi jal gaya to coronavirus kya kar lega (How does coronavirus matter when they have already lost their homes),” he added.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.