Police, other agencies working to ensure peace, says Doval as toll in Delhi violence rise to 22

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New Delhi: After two days of communal clashes that claimed 22 lives, a brittle quiet settled over parts of riot-hit northeast Delhi on Wednesday but there was violence in some other places with shops set ablaze and the body of an IB staffer found in a drain.
As police conducted flag marches and security personnel spread out across the northeastern edge of India's national capital in a bid to quell the violence raging since Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first reaction appealed for peace and brotherhood.
Asserting that it was important calm was restored at the earliest, Modi said on Twitter, "Had an extensive review on the situation prevailing in various parts of Delhi. Police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy."
The task of bringing the situation under control was given to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
"What has happened has happened. Inshallah, there will be complete peace here," Doval said as he walked through the mostly mixed neighbourhoods of northeast Delhi and met locals.
On Tuesday, he undertook a late night tour with Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and newly-appointed Special Commissioner S N Shrivastava. Shrivastava is believed to have been handpicked by Doval after Patnaik faced flak for failing to curb the spiralling violence in the backdrop of US President Donald Trump's visit, sources said.
On day three of the trouble, the death toll rose from 13 on Tuesday to 22 on Wednesday.
"The death toll has risen to 22," GTB Hospital Medical Superintendent Sunil Kumar said. Unusually, the estimate of the more than 200 injured and the dead has come not from the police but hospital authorities.
Calling the situation in northeast Delhi alarming, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Army should be called in as police is "unable" to establish control.
Away from 'leader-speak', fear hung like a heavy cloud over the area, littered with the detritus of a riot -- mangled and charred vehicles, bricks, stones and jagged glass.
An Intelligence Bureau staffer, identified as Ankit Sharma, was found dead in a drain in Chand Bagh where he stayed. Sharma may have been killed in stone pelting, officials said.
Shops and schools were closed and many streets deserted with police making announcements that no one should come out of their homes.
There was heavy deployment of force in Chand Bagh with security personnel not allowing anyone to come out. The blackened walls of a 'mazaar' in the locality spoke volumes of the violence the day before.
After two days of mobs roaming unchecked through the streets, looting shops and setting property on fire, the uneasy quiet was a respite. But not everywhere.
In Gokulpuri, for instance, smoke darkened the skies with rioters setting on fire shops.
Their livelihoods lost with their shops looted and their children in a state of panic after witnessing the bloodshed, many people were seen leaving their homes. Among them was a family that promised to be back, but said they did not know when.
Of the 22 killed since Monday, four were brought to the hospital from the LNJP Hospital earlier in the day, a senior GTB Hospital official said
Asked if the victims have been identified, he said, "Many people have been identified, some are yet to be."
The "gush" of injured patients had reduced to a trickle.
Patients have several kinds of injuries, including from gunshots, stones and other weapons and many were hurt while jumping from rooftops to escape the rioters, hospital authorities said.
Holding the Centre and the Delhi government responsible for the violence -- perhaps the first time since 1984 that the city has seen such scenes of communal mayhem -- Congress president Sonia Gandhi called for the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.
"The conspiracy was witnessed during Delhi polls and BJP leaders gave hate speeches creating atmosphere of fear and hatred," she said.
Shah must take responsibility for the violence in Delhi and resign, she said.
The slugfest continued with the BJP, in turn, accusing Gandhi of politicising the violence.
"Violence is ending. Investigation is on to find out the truth and identify culprits... At such a time, attacking government and politicising violence is dirty politics," said Union minister Prakash Javadekar, adding that it also demoralises police.
That was also a concern of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who asked a Supreme Court bench not to make any adverse observations relating to the violence as it will demoralise the police force.
An apex court bench of Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph lashed out at law enforcing agencies for allowing the "instigators of violence" to get away and said they should act as per law without waiting for somebody's nod.
"If somebody makes an inflammatory remark, police has to take action," it said.
The Delhi High Court also reprimanded Delhi Police.
"... we should never allow another 1984... especially under the watch of the court and under your (Delhi Police) watch... We have to be very, very alert," a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup J Bhambhani said.
In a midnight hearing, the Delhi High Court directed police to ensure safe passage to government hospitals and emergency treatment for those injured in the communal violence erupted in northeast Delhi over the amended citizenship law.

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