Delhi Violence Update: Prime Minister Modi appeals for 'peace and brotherhood'; death toll rises to 22
Photo: PTI/ANI

Prime Minster Narendra Modi has broken his silence on the ongoing violence in Delhi.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Modi said that he had had an extensive review of the situation.

"Police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy," he wrote.

The Prime Minister said that peace and harmony were "central to our ethos" and appealed to his "sisters and brothers of Delhi" to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times.

"It is important that there is calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest," he added.

Late on Tuesday night National Security Advisor Ajit Doval undertook a tour of the affected areas. He was accompanied by senior officers including Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and Special Commissioner S N Shrivastava. Doval briefed the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that is headed by the Prime Minister on Wednesday morning.

Many had earlier criticised the Prime Minister's lack of response on Tuesday to the ongoing violence. On February 25, with President Donald Trump at the national capital, Modi had taken to social media several times, but only to post updates or visuals from the two day state visit.

At the same time, the death toll in Delhi climbed to 13 on Tuesday. It has since risen to 22, with nearly 200 injured.

On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal suggested calling in the army to deal with the issue.

Also on Wednesday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi called the violence a "planned conspiracy" and demanded Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation. She also laid the blame at the Chief Minister's door, stating that both governments were "equally responsible for not activating the administration to reach out to the people" to ensure peace. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to condemn the violence as being "disturbing".

"Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified," he had written, urging the citizens to "show restraint, compassion and understanding". Gandhi is at present out of the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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