Northeast Delhi violence: Death toll climbs to 17

New Delhi: The death toll in northeast Delhi communal violence over the amended citizenship law rose to 17 today, according to GTB Hospital authorities. On Tuesday, the death toll was 13.

Four bodies were brought to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital from the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, taking the death toll to 17, a senior official said.

High Court holds midnight hearing

In a midnight hearing, the Delhi High Court directed police to ensure safe passage to government hospitals and emergency treatment for those injured in the communal violence erupted in northeast Delhi over the amended citizenship law.

The court held a special hearing, which started at 12:30 am, at the residence of Justice S Muralidhar after receiving a call from an advocate explaining the dire circumstances under which the victims were unable to be removed from a small hospital to the GTB Hospital.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup J Bhambhani directed the Delhi Police to ensure safe passage of the injured victims by deploying all resources at its command and on the strength of this order as well as to make sure they receive immediate emergency treatment if not at the
Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital then at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) or Maulana Azad or any other hospital.

The bench also called for a status report of compliance, including information about the injured victims and the treatment offered to them, and the matter will be heard during the day at 2:15 pm.

It said the order be communicated to the medical superintendents of the GTB and the LNJP Hospitals. The urgent hearing was conducted after advocate Suroor Mander called the judge and sought urgent orders for safe passage of ambulances for the injured.

The Delhi Police and the government were represented through additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose. During the hearing, the bench spoke over phone to doctor Anwar of the Al-hind Hospital in New Mustafabad who told the court that there were two bodies and 22 injured persons there and he had been trying to seek police assistance since 4 pm on Tuesday without success.

The court then directed the senior officials to reach to the hospital forthwith, following which they started the process of evacuating the injured to the nearest hospitals.

It also said this order be brought to the knowledge of the Delhi Police Commissioner. Communal violence over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi claimed at least 17 lives till Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the violence escalated in northeast Delhi as police struggled to check the rioters who ran amok on streets, burning and looting shops, pelting stones and thrashing people.