The situation in riot-hit localities of Delhi over a controversial amendment to the citizenship law is slowly returning to normal with no major incidents reported in the 36-hour timeline from Wednesday till last night, the Indian Home Ministry has said.
The ministry in a statement issued late last night said prohibitory orders under Section 144 would be relaxed for a total of 10 hours today, "in view of improvement in ground situation."
The ministry put the death toll in the riots to 35 since February 24, and said the "situation is slowly returning to normal," our New Delhi correspondent reports.
"No major incident has been reported in the last 36 hours in any affected police station of the North-East district," the statement added.
Home Minister Amit Shah held a review meeting to take stock of the prevailing law and order situation in Delhi in view of recent riots affecting the North-East district last night.
The statement said "only 12 police stations out of the 203 PSs in Delhi (about 4.2% of the Indian capital's geographical area) have been affected by these riots, while normalcy and communal harmony has prevailed elsewhere in the national capital."
Police has detained or arrested 514 suspects for questioning so far, and more arrests would be effected in the course of investigation, the Ministry said.
So far, 48 FIRs, pertaining to clashes, loss of lives/property have been registered and more FIRs would be registered in due course, the Home Ministry said.
Delhi Police has separately set up two Special Investigation Teams for investigating serious offences.
Nearly 7,000 para-military personnel have been deployed in the riot-affected areas since February 24 and Delhi Police deployed three Special Commissioners, six Joint CPs, one Additional CP, 22 DCPs, 20 ACPs, 60 Inspectors, 1,200 other ranks and 200 female police officials to effectively guide and supervise police response so as to contain and normalise the situation.
The statement said "two Security personnel sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to restore law and order and nearly 70 police personnel and senior officers have been injured in the incidents."
As a confidence-building measure among different sections of society, Delhi Police has started holding peace committee meetings across Delhi to normalise situation and improve inter-community harmony. Such meetings would continue till the situation normalises, according to the Home Ministry statement.
So far, nearly 330 peace committee Meetings have been organised across 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 meetings were attended by different sections of the society including civil society groups, representatives of different political parties including Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and BJP.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation has already initiated steps to clean the streets and repair damaged public properties in riot-affected areas, the statement said, adding that other civic agencies are also ensuring civic amenities to citizens is restored as soon as possible.
The movement of traffic on the highway and connecting roads is also returning to normal, our correspondent reports.