Delhi Riots: 102 Persons Received Bullet Wounds; Most Victims Were Young Men

For the 500 persons who were injured in the riots, wounds were inflicted by bullets, sharp weapons or blunt objects, and stone pelting or burns.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has confirmed in a report to the government that at least 102 persons received bullet wounds in the Delhi riots, while 171 suffered injuries caused by sharp weapons or blunt objects.

According to Hindustan Times, the police’s report says at least 500 persons were injured in the riots. Apart from injuries inflicted by bullets and sharp weapons or blunt objects, many were also caused by stone pelting or burns, the report says.

While doctors have not yet confirmed how many of the 47 deaths were caused by bullet injuries, but estimates suggested that over 20 persons died of such injuries.

Doctors at the GTB Hospital siad that after the violence had subsided, the data shows the majority were blunt traumas resulting from stone pelting or beating. “Initially, we saw several firearm injuries and thought that maybe that was predominant. However, now that we have analysed the data we have realised that most of the patients came in with blunt trauma, around double the number of those who were shot,” said Dr Sunil Kumar, medical director of the hospital.

The report also mentions that the police control room received nearly 21,000 distress calls between February 22 and February 29. “On February 24 and 25 alone, when the communal violence was at peak in several parts of northeast Delhi, the police control room received over 13,000 riots related calls. The following day, around 6,000 calls were made but a majority of them were panic calls and not of rioting,” a senior police officer told Hindustan Times.

A fact-finding team said that both Hindu and Muslim residents of many riot-hit areas complained that emergency services were not responsive for up to 72 hours during the outbreak of violence.

“Across the board, among Muslims and Hindus, there is enormous fury at the Delhi Police for just not being there when they were needed. People simply do not understand why. We heard repeatedly of frantic calls to the 100 line that went unanswered for 48-72 hours,” it said.

The Hindustan Times report also says that the two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) formed to probe the cases related to the riots are yet to make any breakthrough in the 47 murder cases. The teams are trying to ascertain the “exact sequence of the violence” and are also probing the possibility of a “larger conspiracy”, the report says.

Also read: Explainer: Who Are the Policemen Heading SITs on the Delhi Riots?

While it is unclear which ‘larger conspiracy’ the Delhi Police is referring to, many opposition parties and civil society activists have blamed the violence on BJP leader Kapil Mishra. The former MLA issued an ultimatum to the police on February 23, saying if anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protesters at Jaffrabad were not cleared by three days, he would be forced to take matters into his own hand. The first reports of violence emerged soon after Mishra’s ultimatum.

Some have also blamed the high percentage of bullet injuries as a consequence of Union minister Anurag Thakur exhorting a crowd to chant ‘shoot the traitors’ during the campaign for the Delhi assembly elections.

In another report, the newspaper reported that victims of the riots at the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital are young men. While some were brought injured or dead, others died during treatment. The hospital had received the highest number of casualties (38) and injured patients (279).

According to the hospital’s data, almost 60% of those injured in the violence and treated there were within the age group of 20 to 40 years. Those injured were also predominantly men, with only 6 women being brought to the hospital.

The hospital estimates that even among the deceased, a similar trend can be observed. Of the dead, just one woman, an 85-year-old resident of Khajuri Khas who was burnt in her home, was brought to the hospital.