Ever since the CAA was passed by the Parliament, the strategy of the opposition and its ecosystem has been simple- abetting violence throughout the country and somehow pin the blame on the Modi government. Having realised that the legislation is perfectly valid, the opposition parties are looking to mount pressure by inciting violence and vandalism. The National Capital, New Delhi too has witnessed several incidents of violence and vanadalism of public property.
While Delhi witnessed anti-CAA protests on Thursday including a gathering near the Red Fort, an Indian Express report has now revealed how National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval saved Delhi from a certain catastrophe through elaborate planning on how to manage the protests. NSA Ajit Doval had held a meeting at Delhi’s North Block with Delhi Police Commissioner, Amulya Patnaik, Special CPs (law and order), JCPs of two ranges and DCPs of six districts in attendance. The agenda of the meeting held twelve hours before protesters started gathering at the Red Fort was to chalk out a strategy for maintaining law and order in the National Capital.
Indian Express has quoted a senior officer from Delhi Police’s intelligence wing as saying, “Intelligence agencies had received inputs that some people from Haryana’s Mewat would be coming to Delhi in large numbers and could create trouble on the law and order front.”
Speaking about the crucial meeting, a police source said, “He (Doval) discussed the situation with senior officers and asked for their viewpoints. The police chief suggested that a protest march could be allowed, but the NSA referred to a tweet by one of the DCPs which had earlier mentioned that no permission had been granted for the march. So it was decided that only a designated place like Jantar Mantar can be chosen for the protest.” Doval is also learnt to have taken a stern view of the “failure” of local intelligence during the first three days of Jamia protest, and for “allowing local politicians and anti-social elements to hijack” the students’ protest.
Given the imminent threat of violence in Delhi and intelligence inputs of a large number of people looking to come to Delhi from Mewat in Haryana, the authorities decided to take a slew of measures during the 90-minutes long meeting. Most importantly, barricades were put up on the Gurgaon-Delhi border, and cars started being checked by the police. Therefore, the movement of anti-social elements into Delhi was effectively checked by the Delhi Police.
Apart from barricading the Gurgaon-Delhi border, it was also decided to call all personnel from specialised units, Crime Branch and EOW. They were deployed at sensitive spots with anti-riot gear. Moreover, paramilitary personnel with advanced gear were also called in. A police officer said, “It was also decided to coordinate with police counterparts in neighbouring states, following which border with Haryana was sealed.” DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah also wrote a letter to the nodal officers of four telecom companies asking them to stop providing mobile internet, voice and SMS services in certain areas.
Sources say that after the meeting with NSA, senior Delhi Police officers also held a meeting among themselves at New Delhi DCP’s office. The meeting which was addressed by the Delhi Police Commissioner, lasted till 1:15 AM. According to an officer, “It was decided that they will allow protesters to gather at Jantar Mantar, but those assembling elsewhere will be detained under CrPC Section 144. It was also decided to approach DMRC to shut some Metro stations.”
Therefore, anti social elements had made up their mind to create a major law and order problem in the National Capital and to keep it burning for days. However, it was the experience of NSA Ajit Doval which saved the National Capital from any major law and order problem. His pro-active approach ensured that the nefarious elements were kept at bay and Delhi remained by and large peaceful.