Over 20 dead and 200 injured with four areas of north-east Delhi remaining under curfew that tells about the law and order situation in the National Capital. The two-day rioting and communal violence that started on Sunday during clashes between those supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act marks another monumental failure on the part of Delhi Police. The worsening law and order comes at a time when there are two governments occupying the power with Aam Admi Party on the state of New Delhi and BJP at the national capital. Tensions have been brewing since December when the CAA was enacted in Parliament and the election campaign in Delhi was hotting up. Even as the peaceful Shaheen Bagh protest continue, violence has erupted at Daryaganj, Seelampur, Jafrabad and on the JNU campus. The widespread perception that the police act in a partisan manner have also not helped. The North-East Delhi violence is particularly galling coming at a time when the Capital was gearing up to welcome the US president and his delegation. The intelligence failure needs fixing of culpability. The Union home ministry which supervises the Delhi Police must crack the whip. Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik, who recently was awarded an undeserved extension, must go. Delhi’s political parties have a role to play in restoring peace. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has expressed helplessness but there are several things he can do like visiting the affected communities, forming peace committees and probing policing failures. With anti-CAA-NRC protests raging across India, it also serves a warning to the Centre on the utility of persevering with a patently discriminatory law. Protests are a given in our country but the Shaheen Bagh agitation has caught the nation’s imagination because of the message of amity, brotherhood and composite nationhood. There have been signs of a thaw with Home Minister Amit Shah expressing regret over the statements made by ministers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarified that the CAA had nothing to do with Indian Muslims and that there had been no discussions on the NRC in his government.
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