Kejriwal appeals for calm, asks cops to seal borders

Published on Feb 25, 2020 11:24 PM IST
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New Delhi:

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged police to seal Delhi’s borders, directed sub-divisional magistrates to hold peace marches with security personnel and asked hospitals to arrange more doctors and beds to treat people as the riots in north-east Delhi spread to more areas on the third day.

After getting complaints that fire tenders were unable to reach the spots, Kejriwal directed the fire department to coordinate with police so that they can reach the affected areas on time.

In the evening, urging the perpetrators to stop the violence, the chief minister said “no one is benefiting” from the riots. “Met with the victims of violence who are being treated at GTB and Max hospitals. Hindus, Muslims, policemen — none have escaped unhurt...this madness must end immediately,” he said in a tweet.

In the morning, Kejriwal held a meeting with senior Delhi government officials and MLAs of the affected constituencies, which included Babarpur, Seelampur, Gokulpuri and Ghonda among others at his residence.

In the afternoon, he attended a meeting with the Union home minister Amit Shah, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, the Delhi Police Commissioner and leaders of all political parties.

After meeting Shah, Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, all other Delhi ministers and several AAP legislators went to Rajghat “to pray for peace in Delhi”. The chief minister then went to GTB and Max hospitals to meet riot victims after which he went to Burari to meet the family of head constable Ratan Lal, who was killed in violence over the amended citizenship act on Monday.

“The MLAs of the border areas have noted that miscreants are entering the borders in huge numbers. The borders need to be sealed and preventive arrests need to be made. I have directed the SDMs to take out a peace march along with local police. I have asked the chief secretary to speak to the DCP to strengthen the police task force to control the situation of violence in Delhi,” Kejriwal said after meeting MLAs and government officers.

The CM directed local revenue officials to urge peace committees to conduct meetings, inviting MLAs and members from all the religions and communities. “The temples and mosques in affected areas must appeal to people to maintain peace and calm,” Kejriwal said.

In the meeting with the Union home minister, Kejriwal appealed to Shah to deploy additional forces in Delhi and allowing the police to take necessary action. “If needed, the army will also be deployed in the violence-affected areas. The authorities assured us they will strengthen the police force and deploy as many police personnel as needed. Everybody has decided to rise above party politics and work to reinstating peace,” he said.

Kejriwal reached Rajghat with his cabinet colleagues and AAP legislators, drawing flak from several quarters, including political parties.

“Sorry Arvind ji....this is the time to show true leadership and not theatrics! Show moral courage and wipe tears of the people who gave you unprecedented repeat mandate. No matter police is under you or not, what stops you from leading a peace and bhaichara (brotherhood) march in northeast Delhi? (sic)” tweeted Manoj Mishra, an environmental activist and convenor of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.

The CM and other ministers later visited the injured in hospitals. “I met the injured, including those who had bullet injuries. I have instructed special care for the injured, more beds and more doctors and all possible measures to save the lives of victims,” Kejriwal said after his visit at GTB hospital.


    Sweta Goswami writes on politics, urban development, transportation, energy and social welfare. Based in Delhi, she tracks government policies and suggests corrections based on public feedback and on-ground implementation through her reports. She has also covered the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) since its inception.

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