PM urges calm, NSA takes stock

PM urges calm, NSA takes stock

NSA Ajit Doval interacts with locals in a riot-hit area of Delhi. PTI

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26

Uneasy calm prevailed in violence-hit parts of the Capital with the toll touching 27 and police recovering the body of an Intelligence Bureau staffer from a drain in northeast’s Chand Bagh, one among the five tense locations placed under curfew last night. Security personnel held flag marches in sensitive locations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a review meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who briefed him and other members of the Cabinet Committee on Security — Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman — about the ground status.

Speaking for the first time since clashes between anti and pro-Citizenship (Amendment) Act demonstrators broke out on Sunday, PM Modi appealed for calm, as he tasked Doval with the job of restoring peace.

“I 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. 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,” said the PM, sending out assurances to a panic-stricken Capital, where the numbers of injured crossed 200.

NSA Doval held a second ground visit to affected areas, assuring people of adequate police presence and asserting the situation was under control. Doval (75) had held his first ground review last night after curfew was clamped in northeast Delhi’s Chand Bagh, Maujpur, Khazoori Khas, Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar. On Wednesday afternoon, the NSA was at Jaffarabad, where Sunday clashes broke out. He spoke to police and locals and assured them of calm. “The situation is under control and we are satisfied. We have confidence in law enforcement,” said NSA adding people had a sense of unity. The NSA later briefed Amit Shah on day’s developments.

The police also held their first formal press interaction after four days with spokesman MS Randhawa saying 18 FIRs had been lodged and 106 persons arrested so far. Randhawa gave two helpline numbers —01122829335 and 01122829334 — for those in distress.

Later, the entry and exit gates of metro stations in the area, closed since Sunday, were opened.

Meanwhile, Doval’s remark “Jo ho gaya so ho gaya (Whatever happened has just happened)” created a flutter on Twitter with people drawing parallel with Congress’ Sam Pitroda’s comments on the 1984 riots.

Interacting with people during a visit to affected areas, Doval was heard saying: “We want peace. There will be peace. There will be no further tensions here. Whatever has happened has happened. My message is that everyone, who loves the country also loves society and their neighbours.”

People on the Twitter claimed Doval’s comment was worse than Pitroda’s.

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