New Delhi: A week after Delhi witnessed its worst riots in three decades, the police on Sunday relaxed Section 144 in certain parts of the capital and urged shop owners to reopen their businesses.
The cops patrolled in all riot-hit areas at night and issued multiple alerts saying the situation in the national capital is under control after several users on social media warned of impending violence.
Senior police officers, including the Joint CP and DCP, were out with the patrolling teams, an official said, adding that heavy deployment of security forces will continue in north-east Delhi.
While no untoward incident was reported from any part of Delhi on Sunday night, heavy deployment of forces will continue till further notice.
Several localities of north-east Delhi remain on edge after violence earlier this week claimed the lives of 46 persons. The police said panic calls came in from West Delhi, South East Delhi, Madanpur Khadar, Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar and Khayala.
"A rumour has been noticed that there is some tension in Khyala-Raghubir Nagar area of West District. There is no truth behind it. All are requested to keep calm as the situation is absolutely normal and peaceful," said the West Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police on Twitter.
"It has been observed that some anti-social elements are spreading rumours to disturb peace. People are advised to neither spread nor trust the rumours," it said. "Law and order situation of the whole city is under control."
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava told CNN-News18 that the rumours being spread via social media appear to be "a conspiracy".
"The matter is being probed. FIRs will be filed against those who are spreading panic," he said, reiterating that the situation is under control.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said it had shut down the entry and exit gates of seven metro stations -- Nangloi, Surajmal Stadium, Badarpur, Tughlakabad, Uttam Nagar West and Nawada -- but did not state a reason. The stations were later reopened.
Shopkeepers downed shutters and people rushed to reach home early in several areas, including in Subhash Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri and Khyala in west Delhi.
Delhi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) MS Randhawa said the situation is normal throughout the city and senior officers are monitoring it. "Some panic calls are coming, I would like to tell the people of Delhi to not pay heed to them," he said.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said on he had spoken to acting Delhi Police chief SN Shrivastava and was ensured the situation is under control. In a tweet, the AAP MP requested people to not pay heed to any rumours.
"Rumours of violence are being spread in Delhi. In this regard I spoke to Delhi CP (commissioner of police) and he said that reports of violence are rumours and the law and order situation of the national capital is completely under control," Singh said in the tweet.
AAP leader Atishi said she received WhatsApp messages about mobs in Govindpuri and Kalkaji. "These rumours are all false. The situation is peaceful. Police is patrolling the area," she said in a tweet.
Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh also urged people to remain calm.
"I reached at the site as soon as I heard of the rumour of riots, shops were shut people were in a state of panic but no one saw any riots happening. It was a conspiracy to spread rumours and spoil the atmosphere. I appeal to people to maintain peace and brotherhood and do not believe the rumours," he said.
Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Subhash Nagar, said he had gone to a mall in west Delhi when at around 7:45 pm he witnessed sudden commotion.
"The outlets inside the mall began shutting down and the situation remained tense for nearly 20 minutes before police arrived and assured everyone that the situation was normal," he said.
Meanwhile, board examinations for classes X and XII will be held as per to schedule from March 2 in the violence-hit areas of northeast Delhi, the CBSE said.
The Delhi High Court also directed the police and government administration to provide all help to ensure exams are carried out smoothly in the riot-affected areas.
A total of 254 FIRs have been registered and 903 persons were arrested or detained in connection with the unprecedented violence in the north-east Delhi.