Unlocking of school in riot-hit NorthEast Delhi area sparks protests

Written by Sourav Roy Barman
| New Delhi |

Updated: March 13, 2020 1:30:42 am

At the school, Wednesday. (Express Photo)

The unlocking of a school Wednesday in Northeast Delhi’s Shiv Vihar Tiraha, which witnessed communal violence last month, sparked protests in the area. The protests were led by Hari Singh Solanki, father of Rahul Solanki (26) who succumbed to bullet injuries during the riots on February 24. Many locals joined his sit-in, which continued into the evening.

Dayalpur SHO Tarkeshwar Singh said he unlocked the gates of Rajdhani School in the morning as police and forensic teams had already collected evidence from its premises over the last few days. This move irked locals, who alleged the school was used as a “base” to carry out acts of arson during the riots “My son was killed at the end of the lane which borders the school. On what basis did police and the Delhi government unseal it? Large amounts of arms and ammunition were kept inside. I will give up my life, but won’t allow this school to reopen,” said Solanki.

A Delhi Minorities Commission report states that two schools in the area, Rajdhani and DRP Convent, were used as bases by around 2,000 masked persons to carry out attacks. The school’s owner, Faisal Farooq, was arrested earlier.

As protesters refused to budge, top police officers of the district, including Additional DCP Sukant Ballabh and ACP Subodh Kumar, rushed to the spot. Kumar told Solanki and the locals to raise their grievance with Education Minister Manish Sisodia. Ballabh told them that police is not authorised to take a call on keeping a school sealed. “We sealed the school for investigations,” he said. Ballabh also told them police will write to the education department to cancel the school’s licence from the next session.

Later, to pacify the protesters, another lock was put on the school’s front door . However, the locals stayed put, holding portraits of Rahul Solanki. Around 8.15 pm, the protesters dispersed.

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