Amit Shah. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 27 : Amid ongoing tension in Delhi following violence, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday appealed to the capital's residents not to believe in rumours and fall prey to evil designs of miscreants and groups interested in precipitating communal tension.

As no major incident was reported in the last 36 hours in any affected police station of northeast Delhi, the Home Minister has decided that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC will be relaxed for 10 hours on Friday in view of improvement in the ground situation.

Shah's appeal and announcements came after a review meeting he chaired at his North Block office to take stock of prevailing law and order situation, said a Home Ministry statement.

He instructed the Delhi Police to provide security to all sections of society irrespective of caste and religion.

"Situation is slowly returning to normal. Citizens are requested not to lay credence to any rumour," the Minister appealed.

The meeting was, inter alia, attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, and Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) S.N. Srivastava.

In the meeting, it was mentioned that only 12 of 203 police stations in Delhi (about 4.2 per cent of the geographical area) were affected in the violence that began on Sunday evening and continued for a couple of days, leaving so far 37 people killed and over 200 injured.

The Home Minister was apprised that normalcy and communal harmony has prevailed elsewhere in the city.

So far, 48 First Information Reports (FIRs), pertaining to clashes, loss of lives and property have already been registered and further FIRs would be registered in due course, Shah was told.

Police have arrested 514 suspects for questioning so far and that more arrests would come in the course of investigation.

Delhi Police has separately set up two SITs for investigating serious offences and nearly 7,000 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) or paramilitary forces have been deployed in the riot hit areas since February 24.

Besides, Delhi Police has also deployed three Special CPs, six Joint CPs, one Additional CP, 22 DCPs, 20 ACPs, 60 Inspectors, 1,200 other ranks and 200 women police under the overall supervision of Commissioner of Police to effectively guide and supervise police response so as to contain and normalise the situation.

Delhi Police has set up helplines at 22829334 and 22829335 for round-the-clock assistance. These numbers are being given adequate publicity so that information about miscreants and any emerging situation may be conveyed to the police, the Home Ministry statement said.

In the violence, a Delhi Police Head Constable and an Intelligence Bureau staffer were killed and nearly 70 police personnel and senior officers injured.

The police officers informed that Minister that meetings across Delhi to normalise situation and improve inter-community harmony are being held and such peace committee meetings would continue till the situation returns to normal.

So far, nearly 330 peace committee meetings have been organised in various districts of Delhi in the last two days.

Apart from this, meeting with Residents Welfare Associations (RWA) and Market Welfare Associations (MWA) have also been convened in several areas.

Such peace committees, RWAs, and MWAs have been attended by different sections of the society including civil society groups, representatives of different political parties including Congress, AAP and BJP, the statement said.

East Delhi Municipal Corporation has initiated steps to clean the streets and repair damaged public properties in riot-affected areas. Other civic agencies are also ensuring the civic amenities to the citizens is restored as soon as possible.

Movement of traffic on the highway and connecting roads is returning to normal, the Minister was told.

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