The capital and its surrounding areas were not spared arson and violence following the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Four Delhi Transport Corporation buses were set on fire, while two unoccupied bogies of the Rewa Express at Anand Vihar railway station were set ablaze, leading to prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC being imposed on most areas of the city.
Apart from the buses being burnt in Jyoti Nagar, Bhajanpura and Samaipur Badli, three autos were torched in a jhuggi cluster in Gokulpuri, east Delhi. Stray incidents of arson and mob gathering were reported. In all, there were a dozen emergency calls to the police control room.
As senior Delhi Police officers took to the streets, a control room was set up at police headquarters and commissioner Amulya Patnaik monitored developments till late at night. By day’s end, cops had arrested five people for rioting and arson in the capital.
Around 40 men, their faces hidden by black helmets, attacked two DTC buses and left them ablaze in Jyoti Nagar. The driver of one bus and the conductor of the other exhibited remarkable presence of mind to ensure that the over 150 passengers got out safely.
The driver of one bus and the conductor of the other exhibited remarkable presence of mind to ensure that over 150 passengers got out safely. In Samaipur Badli, a DTC bus was stopped outside Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar by a group of masked men, who then lobbed petrol bombs into the stalled vehicle. The passengers were evacuated safely before the bus went up in flames. A fourth bus was burnt down in Bhajanpura.
Further attacks on DTC buses were averted in Khyala and Badarpur when the people on the streets reacted quickly to the attempts of three arsonists and nabbed them as they were trying to set fire to the buses. In all these incidents, nobody was harmed or injured.
In Anand Vihar, two empty rakes of the Rewa express were set on fire around 4.30pm. Police officers who were the first to reach the railway yard in response to a PCR call found no one around. Maintenance staff at the yard had apparently noticed the dense smoke and informed police and fire services. Fire service personnel detached the burning bogies from the rest of the train to avoid the fire from spreading.
Senior railway police officers confirmed that petrol or kerosene was used to set the compartments on fire. In fact, one bottle of fuel was recovered at the site. “We will question the maintenance workers who were present there to find out if they saw the person or persons who may have set the two bogies aflame,” said a senior RPF officer.
DCP Madhur Verma, PRO of Delhi Police, revealed that Dera Sacha Saudafollowers tried creating mischief in the city and five people were arrested. “We have CCTV footage and investigations are under way ,” Verma said.”Any unlawful assembly will be treated with zero tolerance.” He said police will keep a close watch on developments on Saturday .
Police in Noida and Ghaziabad too went on high alert soon after the conviction of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.Love Kumar, SSP, Noida, said police beefed security arrangement at all border points and directed police officers and SHOs to keep a sharp watch out for mischief makers. Kumar himself patrolled areas in Noida and Greater Noida on Friday.
Section 144 was enforced in both the districts, and all educational institutes were directed to remain closed in Ghaziabad on Saturday. The cops are keeping tabs on social networking sites and WhatsApp to avert provocation and unpleasant’ incidents.