Schools in the violence-hit parts of northeast Delhi will remain closed till March 7, officials said on Saturday (February 29).
According to officials, the annual exams which were scheduled for next week have also been postponed since the situation is not conducive for conducting examinations in violence-affected areas.
At least 42 people were killed and more than 200 injured since Sunday (February 23) evening when clashes between pro- and anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters turned violent in several parts of northeast Delhi, including Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajan Pura, and Yamuna Vihar.
After the worst bout of communal violence in three decades hit the national capital, more than 500 people have been detained or arrested with the police being heavily criticised for failing to contain the clashes for four days.
The situation in northeast Delhi was peaceful on Saturday morning, with the residents gradually coming to terms with the carnage witnessed earlier this week.
Relatives of riot victims continued to wait outside the mortuary at Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital to receive bodies where some of them have been claiming that the bodies have not been refrigerated in the mortuary and have started decomposing.
The Delhi Police has urged the residents of riot-hit areas to not pay attention to rumours on social media and report them instead.
Security personnel have been conducting flag marches and holding regular consultations with locals to assuage their fears.
Sources said the Delhi government is considering issuing a WhatsApp number on which people can complain about hate messages being circulated on the instant messaging app.
They said the government will make an appeal to people to not forward any such message because forwarding any material which causes enmity amongst communities is a crime.
A peace march was also organised at Jantar Mantar on Saturday (February 29) where slogans of Jai Shri Ram, Bharat Mata ki Jai rent the air as hundreds of people gathered at the place carrying the tricolour against the violence in the northeast Delhi.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra was also present at the march organised by the Delhi Peace Forum, an NGO.
Meanwhile, taking a swipe at the Opposition, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said some political parties and “professional provokers” were rubbing salt into the wounds of those affected by the communal riots, but added that harmony will prevail.
Provokers and perpetrators will be in prison and peace and harmony will prevail, the senior BJP leader said, adding that this should be “our commitment and confidence”.
The “secular ride” on the unfortunate communal riots should be stopped, Naqvi said. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure the victims get justice and perpetrators are punished heavily and peace and harmony are restored,” the minister said.
“When we heard reports of violence and anarchy, at the same time we have witnessed several examples of harmony and brotherhood. This is the strength of unity in diversity of my India,” Naqvi said.
He said unity and harmony are the soul of a secular and democratic India. “We should not allow the soul and strength of India to weaken under any circumstances.”
Any kind of violence not only inflicts injuries to a human but also the entire humanity and it also hurts the soul of India, Naqvi said. “It is the national duty of all of us to ensure that the fabric of harmony and unity doesn’t get weakened under any circumstances,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)