Amit Shah acted swiftly to curb violence: govt.

His Cabinet colleagues rally round him, accuse Sonia of playing “dirty party politics”.

Updated - November 28, 2021 11:22 am IST

Published - February 26, 2020 10:51 pm IST - NEW DELHI

First-hand account: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval interacts with the residents of Maujpur, New Delhi.

First-hand account: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval interacts with the residents of Maujpur, New Delhi.

On a day when Congress president Sonia Gandhi called for the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the violence that left 20 dead in north-east Delhi in the past few days, the Union government was quick to rally round him.

While his Cabinet colleagues Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad reacted quickly to Ms. Gandhi’s statement, accusing her of playing “dirty party politics”, government sources gave out details of Mr. Shah’s “hands on” approach to dealing with the situation .


“The first news of violence came in around 4 p.m. on February 24. Mr. Shah called a high-level meeting of the Home Secretary, the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), senior IB officers and the Delhi police commissioner at his residence by 7 p.m. Instructions were issued to the Delhi police on how to tackle the violence,” said a government official. “At 1 a.m., again he reviewed the situation,” added the source.

Analysis: Centre, Delhi govt. are both responsible for inadequate response to riots in city

The next day too, said sources, he started with review meetings at 9 a.m. Thereafter, he called an all-party meeting, attended by Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and the leaders of the Congress and the BJP in Delhi, Subhash Chopra and Manoj Tiwari. “At that meeting, he appealed that all MLAs and corporators tour the affected areas and provide succour, as well as opening a dialogue through peace committees,” said the source.

Several other meetings were held through the day, with the Home Secretary and the Deputy National Security Adviser in attendance; thereafter, S.N. Srivastava was appointed Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order).

Significantly, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who hit the streets from midnight Tuesday, was not present at any of these meetings. BJP leaders, however, rejected the notion that Mr. Doval’s action pointed at anything other than a simple administrative calculation. “If the Home Minister had toured the area, it would have scaled up the situation. The two Ministers of State, Nityanand Rai and G. Kishen Reddy, are political men, and may not have had the desired effect. Mr. Doval has administrative heft and is not a member of a political party,” a senior BJP leader said.

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