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Police failed to assess ground situation in time: Delhi BJP chief

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari expressed "deep sorrow" on Saturday over the loss of lives in the communal violence in northeastern parts of the city earlier this week and claimed the police "failed" to gauge the magnitude of the situation in time.
He accused non-BJP parties of playing a "negative" role in light of protests against the amended Citizenship Act, that "snowballed into violence" in Delhi.
Forty-two lives have been lost so far and over 250 injured in the violence that started with stone pelting at Maujpur Chowk in Jafarabad area between pro- and anti- Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters on Sunday and later escalated to communal clashes in several parts of the northeast Delhi constituency represented in Lok Sabha by Tiwari.
"I don't know what to say. Loss of so many lives is a matter of deep sorrow. It appears that the police also failed to assess the ground situation in time. It could have prevented loss of so many lives," the Lok Sabha MP told reporters.
He, however, asserted that the Delhi Police brought the situation under "control" as soon as 73 companies of additional forces were deployed in the riot-hit areas on February 24.
"Still, it's a failure. Nobody had any idea of the scale of the violence. Police too had no idea of it," Tiwari told reporters.
Tiwari also blamed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress for not helping in defusing the tense situation.
"First, AAP councillor Tahir Hussain was found allegedly involved in the violence and now Congress' ex-councilor Ishrat Jahan's name has come up for the same, thus pointing out that the AAP and Congress together have worked to mislead people," he said in a statement.
Expressing his concern over the violence,Tiwari said that he was constantly in touch with the people and made every effort to help them and ensure presence of police in riot-hit areas.
"For the last three days, I was on the phone replying to the calls for help and assuring presence of police in violence-affected areas," the Delhi BJP chief said.
"Let us not jump in to decide who is guilty. Rather wait for the investigation to complete," he said when asked about complaints that police did not respond to calls of help from people in riot-hit areas.
He said that people were "still scared" but the situation was moving towards normalcy. "My only wish is that the injured recover soon and strict action is taken against the perpetrators of the violence."

He also appealed to the people to not pay attention to "rumours" concerning the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

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First Published: Feb 29 2020 | 9:28 PM IST

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