Rumors of new violence in Delhi are unfounded, police say
NEW DELHI: Days after the large-scale riots in northeastern Delhi, the capital once again panicked on Sunday night when rumors quickly spread about violence in different parts of the city. Such was the impact of rumors that briefly closed seven stations as a precaution.
The first rumors were heard around 7.30 p.m. on the violence in Madanpur Khadar, in the southeast of Delhi, near Shaheen Bagh. This was followed by social media posts about clashes in western Delhi and neighboring areas. Reports also began to float about violence in other places, including Faridabad. However, the police acted quickly this time, covering up the rumors through quick social media posts and other measures. The police also arrested two people for rumors.
As rumors abound, people call relatives out of fear
Most of the rumors spread through groups and Twitter. DCP West Delhi was one of the first police officers to react. At 8.17 p.m., the DCP tweeted: “Rumor is the greatest enemy. Rumor has it that there is some tension in the Khyala-Raghubir Nagar area of the western district. There is no truth behind this. Everyone must remain calm as the situation is absolutely normal and peaceful.
At 8.32 p.m., two posts on the Delhi police Twitter account asked people not to fall into rumors and not to resend unverified messages while remaining calm. Police deployment also intensified in the areas mentioned in the rumors to prevent outbreaks.
Earlier, at 7.53 p.m., the Delhi Metro tweeted that the entrance and exit doors of Tilak Nagar stations had been closed. Half an hour later, he announced that six other stations (Nangloi, Surajmal Stadium, Badarpur, Tughlakabad, West and Nawada) had been closed.
At 8.40 p.m., the DMRC announced that all stations had been opened. The sources said the police suspected a conspiracy behind this type of propaganda of large-scale rumors, which they said had taken place in a coordinated manner. The cyber cell has begun a thorough investigation.
Several Twitter identifiers were identified for spreading false news of clashes, an official said. In southeast Delhi, police received multiple calls for clashes and riots when the people of Madanpur Khadar called the control room for help and informed them of the violence. In the Khadar area, police are investigating whether a slight commotion about catching a thief in a store led locals to spread news. In a short time, rumors had begun about throwing stones at Baljeet Nagar, Patel Nagar and, etc.
In Khayala, police said there was some commotion as local police had caught some players enjoying satta (illegal bets). The sources said that when they caught him, the defendant apparently tried to escape screaming riots, which caused a commotion. In Mangolpuri, the local police conducted a flag march and told people not to fall into rumors.
At 8 p.m., WhatsApp RWA groups throughout the city were full of people who forwarded disturbance messages in their areas. People from all over the city were calling their friends and family about their well-being.
District DCPs soon began tweeting from their individual accounts, asking people not to spread rumors and help keep the peace.
Many SHOs and even senior officers posted videos about WhatsApp groups announcing that there was absolute peace in their areas.