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Official Pronouncements And News Reports On The Events

Annexure III. What the authorities claimed and what the reporters found on the ground level.

Official Pronouncements And News Reports On The Events
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ANNEXURE - III
Official Pronouncements And News Reports On The Events

Official Pronouncements Report on Events
 
Wednesday, 31st October '84
Orders were issued late on Wednesday evening for heavy police patrolling all over the city. Section 144 extended to the entire Union Territory…Three companies of the Delhi Armed Police have been sent to each of the six police districts for round the clock patrolling.

According to the notification issued by the police these arrangements will be in force till further orders.

-- Staff Reporter, 
The Statesmen
 
November 1, 1984.
Five department personnel, like the citizens, received no assistance from the police who were not in evidence in any of the trouble spots in the city. Distress calls to emergency numbers (100) were either not answered or callers were given the stock reply that no help could be proffered.

-- Express News Service, The Indian Express
November 2, 1984

The Government late on Wednesday night alerted the army and called out the Border Security Force as the local police failed to control the widespread rioting and arson in different parts of the capital following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

A top-level review of the law and order situation, involving the Prime Minister's Secretariat and Home Ministry continued till late Wednesday night to decide on steps to arrest the spread of sporadic violence in the wake of Mrs. Gandhi's assassination.

--Times of India, news service, November 1, 1984.

Even the "deployment" of paramilitary forces of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF), announced by the Government on Wednesday evening, was no where to be seen. "I have called CRPF and BSF control rooms every ten minutes" said a deputy officer at the Nizammudin Police Station, 'but each time I am told that there is nothing that can be done".

--Express News Service, Indian Express, November 2, 1984.

Thursday, November 1, 1984
The Army was called out, indefinite curfew clamped in the city except in the New Delhi Police district and shoot-at-sight orders were issued on Thursday evening after 60 people were killed and 1000 injured in communal violence following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

-- Express News Service, Indian Express, November 2, 1984.
Higher direction of the law enforcement machinery was clearly lacking and the police was a mute spectator to the mass violence….
The Lt. Governor did not call out the Army on Wednesday even through the situation showed every sign of going out of control. He took full 24 hours before doing so and clamping curfew in some areas.

When the decision to call the Army was taken on Thursday, the force made available was only adequate for a token presence. Reinforcement were brought in on Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, looting and arson continued.

--Devsagar Singh, Indian Express, November 4, 1984.
Mr. P.P. Srivastav, the Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner said on Thursday that tap water in the capital "is absolutely safe for consumption".

--PTI, Indian Express, November 2, 1984.

Local leaders tin several areas went around on Thursday night warning people over loud speakers, not to drink water from municipal taps.

--The Statesman, November 3, 1984.

Friday, November 2, 1984
Fiddling with figures while the city burnt, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Subhash Tandon said at the end of the day that "Fifteen may be 20 people have died in violence during the day "To this Lt. Governor (Gavai) added "Things are under control".

--Express News Service, Indian Express, November 3, 1984.
Murders led to massacres in the capital on Friday, one of the bloodiest days in the history of Delhi. Hundreds were killed.
There was no count.

The population of whole colonies was wiped out. At least 500 persons were killed in East Delhi alone, the bloodiest place on the day of senseless slaughter.

About 200 bodies were lying in the police mortuary at Tis Hazari.

Reporters saw at least 350 bodies on one street in Trilokpuri.

There were occasional signs of important Army officers without any sanction to check the violence all around them. The Army have no authority to open fire.

-- Express News Service, Indian Express, November 3, 1984.

Policemen criticised the role of politicians too. Several councillors they alleged, interceded on behalf of violent mobs when policemen tried to stop arson. Officers wondered what Mr. Kamal Nath was doing at Rakabganj.

Besides non-imposition of curfew, there was criticism of the of the lack of crisp commands from the top. "Senior officers only asked what was wrong over the wireless without once suggesting what could be done", one officer said.

--The Statesman, November 3, 1984.


Saturday, November 3, 1984
The curfew imposed in five of the six districts of Delhi on November 1 night was relaxed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today

-- The Times of India, November 4, 1984.

The Army had moved into most parts of Delhi by last evening; but the deploment reached full strength only after the 3,000 troops and the vehicles reserved for the funeral were made available for controlling the communal violence.

-The Telegraph, Seema Mustafa, November 4, 1984.

The Executive Magistrates have been empowered to order shooting if necessary

-The Economic Times, Staff Reporter, November 4, 1984.

The Police Commissioner, S.C. Tandon claimed that there was an improvement in the overall situation

-The Economic Times, Staff Reporter, November 4, 1984

The Police Commissioner, Mr. S.C. Tandon, today ordered an enquiry into reports of large number of deaths in Mangolpuri in mob violence since yesterday. The enquiry will be conducted by an officer of the rank of a deputy commissioner said that efforts were being made to verify the claims of the residents that the violence in these areas was 'organised and followed a set pattern".

-- The Times of India, Staff Reporter, November 4, 1984

A visit to Mangolpuri on Saturday afternoon showed armed groups of people moving about …Statesman reporters saw people carrying away the corpse of a child in the area. On the main street in the Colony, a corpse could be seen burning on the footpath…

A reconstruction of what happened in Mangolpuri would suggest that police, despite being present at a checkpost on one end of the colony and in the lines of the 9th battalions of the Delhi Armed Police on the oter, could not summon up the nerve to go inside the colony…When Statesman reporters visited the Bhogal area (South Delhi) on Saturday afternoon, smoke could be seen being looted a few yards ahead.

Here (Bhogal) and elsewhere, people of all communities agreed that there had been amity between all through and that organised gangs of criminals from neighbouring colonies and elsewhere had indulged in violence…in Bhogal, two sub-ordinate police officers were said to have instigated rioters.

-- The Statesman, Staff Reporter, November 4, 1984

Sunday November 4, 1984
In a swift and sudden move following large-scale violence in the capital, the Union Government last night announced Mr. Wali's appointment in place of Mr. P.G. Gavai, who has proceeded on leave

-PTI, the Economic Times, November 5, 1984.
 

Monday, November 5, 1984
The Lt. Governor Mr. M.M.K. Wali, in his first meeting with the pressmen after assuming charge earlier in the day said "no measure will be harsh enough" to prevent fresh trouble.

…Mr. Wali said that 1,809 people had been arrested on charges of arson, rioting and some for breach of the prohibitory orders.

-- The Economic Times, November 5, 1984.

Mr. Wali said; about 20,000 people had been given shelters in five relief camps and the administration was providing free cooked food and medical aid.

-- The Economic Times, November 5, 1984.

Arrangements to provide cooked food to the people in the relief camps and rescue homes have been made. They would also be provided blankets and mattresses to spend the night in some comfort. Medical relief was also being provided to people living in the relief and rescue camps.

-- The Times of India, Staff Reporter, November 5, 1984.

Over 300 people suspected to have looted property have been rounded up by the Central districts police. The Congress-I leaders including the local M.P., Mr. Dharam Das Shastri, came to the Karo Bagh Police Station to protest against the police action.
Mr. Dharam Das Shastri just said "Let them take away recovered property, but there is no need to arrest. These people are not criminals".

-- Express News Service, Indian Express, November 6, 1984.

Seven trans-Jamuna refugee camps overflowed with around 25,000 Sikhs from East Delhi on Monday.

The Administration which has not opened even one relief camp in the worst affected area in the city was moving ponderously, providing minimal aid. Voluntary agencies were, however, operating in full swing.

-- Express News Service, Indian Express, November 6, 1984.

 


Tuesday, November 6, 1984
A total of 2,517 arrests had been made. He (Wali) was unable to give the number of people who had since been released on; bail but pointed out that bail was a right of every citizen in particular cases.

The police "had denied" that political pressure was being brought upon them as far as making recoveries was concerned, he added.

-- The Statesman, Staff Reporter, November 7, 1984.

Talking to newsmen on Tuesday, the Lt. Governor of Delhi, Mr. Madan Mohan Kishan Wali said that a scheme has been drawn up for relief and rehabilitation… Mr. Wali said the compensation was only a token but most of the houses destroyed
or damaged were in resettlement colonies and outlying areas and this amount would at least enable the people to put up liveable structures.

-- Express News Service, Indian Express, November 7, 1984
Many police officials complained that this drive was not moving into top gear because of political pressure. When the Commissioner of Police was talking to the Press, a local MP barged in and started shouting something about his "instructions being ignored"

-- The Statesman, Staff Reporter, November 7, 1984.

Until Tuesday night, there was no sign of the Government's presence at the Tilak Nagar Gurudwara which is sheltering over 1,000 people from Uttam Nagar, Nangloi, Najafgarh, Govindpuri, and Mangolpuri….

The Gurudwara, however, is unable to cope with this sudden influx of people and as in most other such camps, the sanitation is particularly inadequate.

-- Express News Service, Indian Express, November 7, 1984

 


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