What happens in Delhi, doesn’t stay in Delhi.
Even as reports of fresh violence from the northeast part of the national capital rocked the country, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, who has been given the mandate to restore peace and normalcy in Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday (February 26) claimed that the ‘situation was under control.’
Reports said 27 people had died and at least 200 injured in clashes between pro- and anti-CAA protestors since Sunday (February 23) in the violence-stricken areas of Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Maujpur, Karawal Nagar, Gokulpuri, and Jaffrabad.
With the unprecedented violence over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) claiming lives for the fourth consecutive day, PM Modi appealed to his countrymen for ‘peace and brotherhood.’
Related news: 22 deaths in 3 days: Delhi police, where were you?
“Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important that there is calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest. Had an extensive review on the situation prevailing in various parts of Delhi. Police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police issued a statement stating that 106 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the violence and 18 FIRs were registered.
Here are the updates from northeast Delhi’s violence on day four:
- Death toll rises
According to the latest reports, nearly 27 people were killed during the clashes in northeast Delhi in the past four days, including more than seven lives being claimed today. At least 200 people were injured in the violence with several journalists sustaining injuries on Tuesday (February 25) and sharing their first-hand accounts of how they were asked to prove their religion.
- PM Modi’s peace appeal
After his absence from the whole situation for more than three days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally tweeted appealing for “peace and brotherhood” from his countrymen. He also said that he had an extensive review of the situation and is working with police to ensure normalcy on ground.
- IB officer Ankit Sharma
He was at no fault nor was he involved in the ongoing violence on Tuesday evening when an Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma was allegedly attacked by a mob on a bridge and beaten to death while returning home from work. His body was recovered from a drain in Delhi’s Chand Bagh today. His father Ravinder Sharma, who works for Delhi Police, identified the body and also alleged that his son was shot after being beaten. He has accused the supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party of the murder.
However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, condoling the death of the officer, tweeted that the culprits will not be spared.
- Sonia Gandhi lashes out at the Centre
Congress President Sonia Gandhi hit out at the Modi government and said the violence was the result of a conspiracy while demanding Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation. She questioned the availability of Shah last week and earlier this week and why the paramilitary forces were not called in faster to control the situation.
Related news: Delhi violence: Congress demands Amit Shah’s resignation
“What was the Home Minister doing since last week? What was the Home Minister doing earlier this week? Why were the paramilitary forces not called in earlier when the Home Ministry saw the situation worsening. The central government, including the Home Minister, is responsible. The Congress party demands that he resign immediately,” she said at a press conference.
- Why AAP, why?
After reaching out to the Centre for calling in the army to control the riot-hit situation in his own state, Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party put out a tweet showing the map of all the constituencies won by the BJP in the recently concluded Delhi elections and claimed that the violence is happening only in those areas.
While the tweet tries to give a clear picture of the fire spreading only in areas under the BJP, it also raises questions if the AAP has an involvement in this situation to arise, exactly at a time when the world media had its eyes set on India due to US President Donald Trump’s maiden visit to the country.
- Enters Ajit Doval
Why Ajit Doval? Don’t the Delhi Police report directly to Amit Shah? The move of reaching out to the National Security Advisor for restoring peace and normalcy in the parts of northeast Delhi have raised eyebrows. Doval visited violence-hit areas Seelampur, Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Gokulpuri Chowk and met the top police officers on Tuesday night.
However, it is no surprise that after getting a clear mandate from the Prime Minister himself, Doval again went back to those areas but this time went a notch ahead of everyone’s expectations and went door to door, meeting the residents. It is then he claimed that the “situation was under control.”
- Delhi High Court
In a late-night order on Tuesday, the Delhi Court held a special session with a two-judge bench at the residence of Justice S Muralidhar. It asked the police to ensure safe passage and emergency treatment to the injured to medical institutions with adequate facilities.
The court was hearing an urgent petition in the backdrop of the rising number death toll, during which a policeman said he hasn’t seen the hate speech by BJP leader Kapil Mishra and all the videos were played in the courtroom. The police has been asked to take a decision and lodge FIRs against the three BJP leaders – Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, and Parvesh Verma.
- Exams bear the brunt
In the midst of section 144 being ordered in parts of northeast Delhi, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 12 English exam on Thursday (February 27) has been postponed.
According to officials, the move comes in view of the turbulent situation due to violence. “Considering the request of Delhi government and to avoid inconvenience to students, staff and parents, the board has decided to postpone the exam for class 12 in Northeast part of Delhi,” CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi said.
- Delhi Police speaks
The Delhi Police said that it has arrested 106 people for their alleged involvement in the violence and registered 18 FIRs. “No untoward incident was reported on Wednesday and PCR calls from northeast Delhi have reduced,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mandeep Singh Randhawa told reporters.
“Like we said earlier, miscreants will be identified and punished. Senior officers were closely monitoring the situation in northeast Delhi,” he said, adding that drones are being used on ground.
Police also released two helpline numbers — 011-22829334, 22829335 — for people to reach out during distress.
- Rajinikanth slams Centre
Actor Rajinikanth lashed out at the central government over the violence, saying the riots should have been dealt with an iron fist.
“At a time when US President Donald Trump is visiting the country, they (Union Government) should have been more careful. It is definitely the central government’s intelligence failure. I strongly condemn the Centre for this. I hope they would be careful from now on,” he told reporters.
The actor gazed support from his counterpart Kamal Haasan who tweeted, “Bravo friend! This path is a good one. It is not a separate one. An entire community is taking this royal path. Welcome, congratulations.”