It has been four straight days since North-East Delhi has been burning. The number of casualties has climbed to 34 and it is likely to rise further. More reports of arson and unrest are pouring in from various parts of North East Delhi. This is happening even after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval took charge of the security situation and attempted to establish order in the affected areas.
The clashes between Muslims protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act and the Hindus supporting the Act broke out on the day the US president Donald Trump was in the country. By the time he was at the banquet with President Ram Nath Kovind the riots in the capital had graduated to setting shops and homes on fire. The situation is likely to worsen further if the government doesn’t take urgent measures to reign in the rioters.
The union government so far is trying hard to bring the situation under control. The NSA Doval under the direction of the home minister Amit Shah has personally visited the riot-hit areas to reassure people and ensure police does its job. Similarly the home minister has held several meetings on the situation, one of them presided over by the prime minister Narendra Modi. In a tweet, the PM Modi said that “the peace and harmony are central to our ethos”. He appealed to his “sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood”.
Delhi Police has since arrested 106 people and registered 18 FIRs.But this hasn’t been enough to deter the rioters which have continued their killing spree.
The government efforts, as a result, have come under criticism from the opposition. On Wednesday, the interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a rare press conference and demanded resignation of the home minister Shah. And on Thursday the party’s delegation led by Gandhi called on the president and urged him to use his power to protect ‘Raj Dharma’. The party once again saw the removal of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for ‘abdication of duty’ during the violence in the national capital”. In a memorandum to the president, Congress said that “the Central Government as also the newly elected Delhi Government, have remained mute spectators as completely mindless rage, designed violence and organised looting of property has continued unabated”.
Delhi violence has also attracted some international attention with the US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticising president Trump for terming the riots as India’s internal matter. However, considering that the central government is trying to do everything within its means to get a grip on the situation, there’s hope that the riots will subside soon. Any complacency on the part of the government now has the potential to further flare up the situation and spread the riots to other parts of the country.