Over 2,000 outsiders or goons occupied two schools for 24 hours to execute the Delhi riots, according to a preliminary report prepared by a delegation of the Delhi Minorities Commission. However, the fact-finding report is yet to come.
The delegation led by the commission's chairman Dr Zafarul Islam Khan went to the riot-affected areas of north-east Delhi toured the riot-affected areas, accompanied by some police officers and members of the commission's peace and minority advisory committees.
"The schools were used for the execution of the Delhi riots. The police should be held accountable for this. How did the outsiders/goons reach this place? And not just that; a mob of 2,000 was allowed to stay for more than 24 hours and execute its plans," News18 quoted Islam as saying.
According to the report, two schools in Shiv Vihar, Rajdhani Public School run by Faisal Farooq and DRP Convent School run by one Pankaj Sharma, were occupied by goons who came from other areas. Both schools share a common wall.
Driver Raj Kumar told the commission that at the first institute, about 500 people forced themselves inside his school at around 6.30 pm on Monday, February 24. "They wore helmets and hid their faces. They remained there for the next 24 hours," he said. After the police arrived in the area the next evening, the goons left the spot.
"They were young, well-built people who had arms and giant catapults which they used to throw petrol bombs from the school roof to other houses across the road. Some of them used heavy ropes, still in the school, to climb down into the other adjacent school. They took away the computers and any other thing they could carry and smashed and burnt what they left behind," the report said.
When the commission sought information on the people who had occupied DRP School, it was given the same description of the people who had barged into Rajdhani School, but their number was upwards of 1,500. They stayed here for over 24 hours from 24th evening.
Guard Roop Singh, who described the goons to the commission, managed to save himself and his family by escaping through the rear door. He told the commission that the rioters looted or burnt everything in the school.
The delegation was given a photograph of the mob by Rajdhani School. "In it, young people are seen wearing helmets and covering their faces. The guard of the DRP School confirmed that the same kind of people occupied his school also. Over 2,000 such people stayed in the two schools for over 24 hours," said the report.
According to the report, the mob went to execute looting and arson in small trucks in shifts of 2-3 hours each time. They were also provided with food. It is clear that they were getting help from locals.
The commission assessed that the violence was one-sided and well-planned in which maximum damage was caused to Muslim houses and shops with local support. Without significant help, these people will not be able to rebuild their lives. We feel that the compensation announced by the Delhi government is not adequate for the purpose.
The areas assistant and deputy commissioners of police explained to the delegation that the problems involved in policing, rescuing and rehabilitation.