Sweeping changes likely in Delhi Police after cops caught napping on violence
Government officials familiar with the matter said the home ministry’s assessment is that Delhi Police was caught napping. Security cover around the capital was increased because of President Donald Trump’s visit.Updated: Feb 27, 2020 12:08 IST
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held a marathon two-hour long meeting on Wednesday evening to review the situation in riot-hit north-east Delhi. “The situation is under control and all efforts are being made to ensure peace and calm,” National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said after the meeting.
Earlier in the day, Doval visited the riot-affected areas for the second time in 24 hours. The National Security Advisor first visited parts of north-east Delhi on Tuesday late night after being asked to step in and manage a situation that was clearly beyond Delhi Police.
At least 34 people including two policemen have been killed and around 330 people have been injured in the riots. The centre has deployed 45 companies – each comprising 100 soldiers – in north-east Delhi to assist the Delhi Police. In addition, troops from the Delhi Armed Police have also been deployed.Also Watch | Delhi violence | Day 4: Death toll crosses 25; cops say 100 arrested so far
Government officials familiar with the matter said the home ministry’s assessment is that Delhi Police was caught napping. Security cover around the capital was increased because of President Donald Trump’s visit.
The Delhi Police chose to observe restrain because of the visit and also because of the congested area and dense population.
“Any action, it was thought, would result in collateral damage,” a senior home ministry official who was aware of the details but did not want to be named said.
That proved to be the wrong approach to take. The police were surprised by rioters shipped in from outside.. ”A large number of rioters were outsiders. Work is on to identify the people,” this person added.
Sweeping changes in Delhi Police are expected soon. “There will be major changes soon, the primary focus, now, is to restore calm and peace,” a second senior home ministry official who did not want to be named said.
On Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister and the home minister separately reviewed the situation.
“The Prime Minister reviewed the situation immediately after State Banquet held in honour of US President Donald Trump. The National Security Advisor attended both meetings,” a third senior Home Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
On Monday night, Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) Arvind Kumar spent the entire night at the Delhi Police Control Room and in areas in north-east Delhi including Jafrabad, Maujpur and Gokulpuri.
The DIB rushed to the disturbed areas and Delhi Police control room after consultations with senior government functionaries including home minister Shah.
The DIB is the senior-most policeman of the country and topmost advisor to the government on internal security. “The DIB went through the deployment details at the Delhi Police Control Room and then subsequently went to the affected areas to interact with policemen and get a first-hand account of the riots, “ a senior government official who said, asking not to be named.