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Doval tasked with quelling communal riots in Delhi as 22 killed


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tasked National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with the mandate to restore normalcy in riot-hit North East Delhi where 24 people have been killed in communal violence as concerns grew over inept handling of the situation by Delhi Police, officials said on Wednesday.
Immediately after visiting US President Donald Trump embarked on his return flight, 75-year old Doval undertook a late night tour of the riot-hit areas on Tuesday accompanied by Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, newly-appointed Special Commissioner S N Shrivastava and other senior officers, they said.
The former Intelligence Bureau chief who holds the rank of a cabinet minister visited the affected areas, including Jaffrabad and Seelampur, where he met police officers and gave them necessary directives, besides meeting leaders of different communities to assuage the tension, the officials said.
Shrivastava is believed to have been handpicked by Doval himself after Patnaik faced flak for failing to curb spiralling violence in the national capital in the backdrop of high-profile visit of the US president, they said.
Delhi Police reports to the Union Home Ministry.
Doval on Wednesday morning presented his on the spot assessment of the situation to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the prime minister about the steps taken to quell the violence and restore normalcy in areas under the grip of communal riots over the amended citizenship law, the officials said.
Besides the prime minister, the CCS, the country's top- most body on strategic affairs, comprises Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
He again took to tensed streets in the affected areas with senior officers where he met with locals and assured them that the situation is under control.
During the visit, Doval said he was there on the instructions of Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
"Police is working hard. Only some criminals were involved in this. One should try resolving issues and not increasing them. There were incidents earlier but today it is calm. Locals want peace. We have full faith there will be peace," he said.
He returned to North Block to brief Home Minister Amit Shah in the afternoon about the current law and order situation in North East Delhi.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director of Intelligence Bureau Arvind Kumar and Amulya Patnaik attended the meeting.
Twenty-four people have been killed and over 200 injured in communal violence that broke out in northeast Delhi three days ago. Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar are among the areas mainly affected by the riots.
The former Intelligence Bureau chief, Doval is known for his hands on approach and is considered a close confidante of the prime minister and his go-to man for any crisis situation.
Doval had camped in Jammu and Kashmir for more than a fortnight after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in August last year.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 8:42 PM IST

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