Many families of the deceased fear the worst after getting the bodies as the atmosphere continues to remain tense
The death toll in the sectarian violence in Northeast Delhi rose to 42 on Friday, while police arrested 514 people for the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Although police claimed the death toll to be closer to 35, personnel at the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital refuted the data, according to the Hindustan Times.
Many families, who were spotted outside the GTB hospital mortuary, feared the worst while waiting for the bodies to be handed over to them.
The violence in their neighbourhoods may have subsided, but the atmosphere there continues to remain tense. Along with mosques and religious shrines, the rioters have also desecrated a graveyard in Gokalpuri area.
Rahul Solanki, a civil engineer, was also among the 34 people who lost their lives in the communal clashes. After a wait of three days, Solanki's family were handed over his body on Wednesday.
"His last rites was done very quickly, in a hush-hush manner. We did not want any more trouble," Hamir Singh Chauhan, Solanki's uncle, told the Hindustan Times.
However, shops and businesses opened in the violence-affected areas on Friday, while local people expressed satisfaction at the restoration of peace.
Speaking to the Asian News International, a shopkeeper in Delhi's Bhajanpura area Jaskaran Bhati said, "My shop was shut since the violence that started in the area four to five days ago. Now, it is peaceful as people have started to realise that no one will gain anything by indulging in violence."
As many as 70 companies of paramilitary forces – each comprised of 100 soldiers – have been deployed in Northeast Delhi since Thursday night.
The Home Ministry said that as many as 514 "suspects" have been detained for questioning and the number will increase as the investigation proceeds.
Meanwhile, Indian Police Service officer SN Shrivastava was appointed as the next commissioner of Delhi Police Friday, days after he was brought in as the special commissioner of police for law and order amid violence in the city.
Shrivastava will take over as the New Delhi Police chief on Sunday, a day after the current commissioner Amulya Patnaik retires amid criticism for his inability in quelling the violence.
Among the deceased are a head constable of Delhi Police and a 26-year-old Intelligence Bureau official. More than 300 people were injured in the violence which gripped the region on Sunday, which further escalated and turned communal the day after.
At least 79 houses, 52 shops, five warehouses, four mosques, three factories and two schools were burnt between Monday and Thursday by rioters.
India also faced criticism and calls to protect religious freedom and the safety of its citizens from across the world, including US presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, along with the UN human rights chief.
The government pushed back against the criticism, with external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar describing the comments by organisations and individuals as "inaccurate and misleading" and aimed at politicising the situation.