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Delhi Riots: Police Scrutinising Mobile Data, Videos to Identify Role of 'Outsiders'

File photo of security personnel conducting a flag march during Delhi riots.

File photo of security personnel conducting a flag march during Delhi riots.

The communal violence in northeast Delhi, which was sparked by protests over the amended Citizenship Act, has left 44 dead and over 200 injured.

The Delhi police is collecting and scrutinising hundreds of video footage of last week's communal clashes in the northeast parts of the city and also gathering mobile call and data records to identify those involved in the violence, officials said on Thursday.

With several people from riot-hit areas such as Jafrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Kardampuri and Shiv Vihar alleging the role of "outsiders" in the riots, two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of the Delhi Police's Crime Branch have been formed to probe the violence.

The communal violence in northeast Delhi, which was sparked by protests over the amended Citizenship Act, has left 44 dead and over 200 injured. According to the police, 654 cases have been registered and 1,820 people either detained or arrested over the violence till Thursday evening.

"Northeast Delhi is a border area (close to Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh) and gathering mobile call and data records could be critical in identifying those involved in the violence and whether they were locals or as people in the neighbourhoods have been claiming -- outsiders," a senior Crime Branch officer told PTI.

According to the police, collecting mobile phone-related details is a common practice in investigations like these and this time it is being used to identify "outsiders".

"Mobile data and call records are being examined to ascertain who were present in northeast Delhi during the time of the violence. We have gathered hundreds of video footage including mobile phone-made clips which are circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups. Those are being scrutinised for authenticity," the Crime Branch officer said.

"CCTV footage are also being recovered and based on examination of the videos we have identified several people and are questioning others for their suspected role," he said.