Road shows for election, but no show when Delhi burnt on Monday, with Trump in town
Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi CM Kejriwal held late night meetings on Monday to take stock of the situation,after 3 days of simmering tension and after 5 lives were lost, shops and mosques torched
Both Amit Shah and Arvind Kejriwal had vigorously campaigned for votes earlier this month. But neither of them has been seen talking to people on CAA, visiting localities to defuse the situation. It would, therefore, have come as no surprise when the two key men, who could have done something, were conspicuously missing in action.
Neither of them can complain of ‘Intelligence Failure’. Delhi teems with policemen, plainclothesmen and ‘Mukhbirs’ or informers. The two governments could not have been caught napping, say government officials, indicating that indifference and a degree of design are evident.
No action was taken against BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who on Saturday had threatened, with a Deputy Commissioner of Police standing by his side, that restraint would be exercised till the US President Donald Trump was in India. Once the POTUS left, he suggested, people would take law into their hands. On Monday he was tweeting appeals for peace. But that did not dispel the strong suspicion that he was somehow complicit in the violence that broke out on Monday.
Delhi Police also did not act when a video surfaced on social media on Sunday which showed a group of people cheering unloading of bricks and stones and chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The violence was clearly being planned and appeals were being made to Delhi Police to act. They didn’t.
On Monday, many more video clips surfaced on social media and showed a man shooting from what looked like a Baretta with policemen as bystanders. In one of the videos policemen themselves were seen hurling bricks and stones. In another, a policeman is heard exhorting the mob to throw more stones at protestors. Shops were set on fire in Muslim localities in Maujpur, dominated by Hindus. Bricks littered the lanes. A Reuters correspondent tweeted that he saw youngsters making petrol bombs by taking out fuel from motorcycles.
But there was no sign of AAP MLAs or the chief minister. The Home Minister Amit Shah was of course attending the ‘Namaste Trump’ show in Ahmedabad. What could they have done?
An irate Ajay Maken, who was MOS(Home) in the UPA Government, listed the number of steps the chief minister, and indeed the Home Minister, could have done.
1. Call an all party meeting
2. Form peace committees in the localities
3. Establish a hotline and a helpline
And perhaps visit the affected areas ?