As violence between pro-CAA and anti-CAA protesters in northeast Delhi entered the fourth day, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 26 February, said urgent and comprehensive action had to be taken to address the ongoing communal violence, warning that “We can't have another 1984 in Delhi, not under the watch of this court.”
A division Bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also asked some of the highest functionaries in the state and central governments to personally meet the victims and their families, and conduct confidence building measures.
Passing a series of orders, the court directed helplines for immediate help to be set up and private ambulances to be provided for safe passage of victims if required.
The number of deaths following violence in northeast Delhi rose to 22 on Wednesday, according to news agency ANI.
Court Stresses on Need to Rebuild Confidence
The high court stressed on the need to rebuild confidence and said it is time to reach out to people. "It must be done as soon as possible," the Bench said, according to ANI.
It also directed that shelters for the victims with basic amenities like blankets, medicines, food and sanitation be set up.
“We have to be alert,” said Justice S Muralidhar. “We propose to appoint amicus curie to coordinate between victims and agencies to ensure that prompt action is taken,” the court added.
Meanwhile, advocate Zubeda Begum has been appointed as an amicus curiae to coordinate between victims and agencies regarding medical assistance and safe passage of the victims.
Acknowledging a request from the lawyers in the court, the judges also directed that courts across the city should designate night duty magistrates for the next two weeks, so that people could approach the courts at any hour. They also directed the Delhi government to ensure that there are sufficient helpline operators and emergency services responders.
In another important direction, the high court asked the director of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) to provide sufficient number of qualified professionals to cater to the victims suffering from post-trauma stress.
Court Applauds Delhi Police for Prompt Action
The Delhi High Court applauded the police for prompt action in evacuating the injured in northeast Delhi.
“While order was being dictated midnight, police was implementing it right there and rescuing injured persons,” the bench said.
The court also expressed concern over the killing of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer and called it “very unfortunate,” PTI reported.
The court held a special hearing, which started at 12:30 am at the residence of Justice Muralidhar, after receiving a call from an advocate explaining the dire circumstances due to which it was not possible to move the victims from a small hospital to the GTB Hospital.
It then directed the police to deploy all resources at command and on the strength of the order, while making sure the injured receive immediate emergency treatment.
The Bench had also called for a status report of compliance, including information about the injured victims and the treatment offered to them.
The court has put up the matter for further hearing on 28 February.
(With inputs from PTI & ANI)
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