Three days into the violence in Northeast Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday held his first high-level meeting with political representatives and said the violence was spontaneous. As the death toll climbed to 13 and violence continued, Shah expressed confidence in Delhi Police and officials ruled out calling the Army.
Shah met Delhi CP Amulya Patnaik, IB chief Arvind Kumar and Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla late Monday night. This was followed by a meeting with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi L-G Anil Baijal, Congress leader Subhash Chopra and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari among others.
The issue of inadequate strength of forces was raised but Shah assured all necessary requirement of forces was being fulfilled. AAP sources said Kejriwal told Shah he received reports of police laxity and urged him to ensure “any and all options” to control the violence must be used. The Centre has rushed 25 extra companies of paramilitary forces but also put on the ground 1,000 personnel from Delhi Police’s armed constabulary wing. Sources said police has 35 companies of paramilitary police to help them control the situation. Notably, Bhalla had Monday said, “Senior officers are already in the field. Sufficient forces have been deployed. Situation is in control.”
While BJP leaders have been terming the violence as orchestrated, the Home Minister called them spontaneous. “Shah noted that professional assessment is that the violence in the capital has been spontaneous. He expressed confidence in Delhi Police and said the force has shown maximum restraint to control the situation,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
This stood in sharp contrast to MoS Home G Kishan Reddy’s suggestion on Monday that the violence had been orchestrated to coincide with the visit of US President Donald Trump.
During his meeting with Delhi CM, Shah said the borders of Delhi with UP and Haryana have been under surveillance for the last three days and police has been taking adequate steps, in view of the upcoming Supreme Court hearing relating to issues pertaining to the citizenship law.
Kejriwal said: “Rising above party politics, we decided that all political parties will do all that is possible to restore peace in Delhi. All authorities and the home minister have assured that there would be no dearth of police personnel on the ground.” On the need to call the Army, Kejriwal said, “If there arises a need, I hope… But police is taking action…”
According to MHA, Shah appealed to the public and media to communicate responsibly and avoid spreading rumours. “Shah spoke of the need to re-activate local peace committees and said they should include representatives of all sections of society, religions and eminent local persons. He urged political parties to ask their local representatives to hold meetings in sensitive areas…,” said an MHA statement.
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