NEW DELHI: In a first, Delhi Police today used drones fitted with cameras to patrol the skies of the violence-hit Trilokpuri area in East Delhi, where situation improved with no fresh incident of violence and greater relaxation in prohibitory orders.
Police recovered daggers, swords, butcher knives, sticks, several combat weapons and at least seventy sacks of stones from several houses and arrested five persons today in continued combing operation.
The aerial surveillance, which was carried out in the worst-hit eight blocks of the area, helped police keep a tab on any suspected movement and recovery of the sacks containing the stones from roof-tops.
"On the basis of the footage provided by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) we searched several houses and large number of materials which could have been used as missiles were recovered by us," said a police official.
Five persons, from whom full-length swords were recovered by the police, were arrested. All of the have criminal cases against them.
Those arrested have been identified as Gaurav (29), Rakesh (35), Balraj Kumar (53), Tilak Raj (42) and Mukesh (40).
The East Delhi locality appeared to be slowly limping back to normalcy today and police relaxed prohibitory orders for three hours, as against just an hour yesterday.
Senior officials indicated that they may provide a further relaxation tomorrow for 'Chhath Puja' but prohibitory orders and heavy deployment is going to stay for some days in the wake festivals including Muharram next month.
"We had relaxed prohibitory orders between 2 to 5 PM today as there has been no case of fresh violence in the area.
"The response has been good and we are considering to further increase the time period tomorrow to six hours - from 11 AM to 5 PM," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range) Sanjay Beniwal.
Prohibitory orders, which were imposed in the area on Saturday were relaxed yesterday for about one hour, during which essential commodities like milk, vegetables were made available at the doorstep of the locals by the police.
Police also made special arrangements to provide medical facilities to the residents.
During 2 to 5 PM, medical vans were deployed in the area. Residents queued up in large numbers outside them for check-ups and medicines.
Despite these efforts, the residents of the area, which mostly comprises of working class people, are bearing the brunt of the situation as they are unable to go out to work and are running out of money and ration.
School children are also suffering because of the clampdown.
A large contingent of police personnel along with Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was keeping a tight vigil in all the 36 blocks after clashes on Diwali night.
Senior police officers are camping in the area to analyse the ground-level situation. Over 30 PCR vans, water cannons and riots control vehicles have been stationed in the area. Police conducted raids in eight blocks of Trilokpuri, including 14, 15, 20, 35, 36, 26, 27 and 28.
Hunt is on to nab the five main accused, who police claimed that had initiated the violence on Diwali night.