Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday appealed from the Delhi Assembly to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to call in the Army to control the situation in the capital if violence continues to escalate.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal said he had written to Shah, asking that curfew be imposed and the Army called in.
“The Army should be called in and a curfew imposed in other affected areas immediately. I’m writing to Honourable HM to this effect,” he tweeted in the morning.
He also announced a Rs 1 crore ex-gratia to the family of head constable Ratan Lal and a government job to one of his family members. Lal was killed during Monday’s violence.
In his first address to the Delhi Assembly after the new government came to power, Kejriwal said the Delhi Police tried to control the situation but was unable to do it.
“…police tried to control things but the atmosphere was such that their numbers were low. In a few cases, when we spoke to the policemen on the ground, we were told they have not got orders to intervene; I don’t know what the reason was. We also saw videos of some policemen, some bad apples, helping the miscreants. These should be investigated,” he said.
Violence broke out in Northeast Delhi Sunday evening and the area remained on boil through Monday and Tuesday. Twenty-seven people have died so far and at least 300 have been injured.
Referring to the US President and First Lady’s visit to Delhi, Kejriwal said: “For the last three days, Delhi received worldwide coverage for mainly two reasons — the Delhi government schools and its ‘happiness curriculum’. US First Lady Melania Trump visited a Delhi government school… After attending a happiness class, Mrs Trump said this class must be replicated not only across India and the US but worldwide… The second news, however, was when President Donald Trump was in India, the capital city of Delhi was burning… We have to decide on the pictures we want to present to the world,” he said.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, meanwhile, criticised Shah for his handling of the situation. “Amit Shah ji, wake up. You call an all-party meeting on Tuesday morning, but it is only a formality. One can see that BJP’s Kapil Mishra is inciting violence. BJP Laxmi Nagar MLA Abhay Verma was on the street in the constituency with a crowd that was shouting slogans to incite violence. A BJP functionary tweets the violence is the cost people are paying for free bijli-paani. Are you threatening people because they voted for a government that wants to support the people? Why was a curfew not imposed? Why were borders not sealed? AAP has been asking that the Army be deployed, since yesterday,” he said.
Asked why the government had not requisitioned the Army through the district magistrate earlier, Singh said: “Under Delhi Police Act, 1978, powers to call additional forces is with the Police Commissioner, not the state government or its functionaries.”
In Delhi, which is a Union Territory with special provisions, police is directly under the control of the Home Ministry.
At the Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal said the people of Delhi had two choices: “We either stand together to build a bright future for Delhi or we count the bodies on each side and draw pleasure from killing the ‘other’. We need to say that this is enough. A modern Delhi will not be built like this”.
Appealing to the people to give up violence, the CM said: “All of this has not been done by the ‘aam aadmi’. This has been done by some anti-social, political and external elements… Over 20 have been killed. Vir Bhan has died, he was a Hindu. Mohammad Mubaraq has died, he was a Muslim. Parvesh was killed, he was a Hindu. Zakir has died. He was a Muslim… police were also killed. I also have a list of the injured. Both Hindus and Muslims are suffering. Rahul Solanki was killed when he went out to buy something for his house. If someone goes and tells his mother to not worry because 10 Muslims have been killed to avenge the death of her son, what would she do with that.”
He added that many stories of unity were also heard from several parts of the city amid the chaos.
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