NEW DELHI: Fear prevails in Delhi's Tughlaqabad Extension area which witnessed police lathi-charge and vandalism on Wednesday after Dalit activists turned violent over demolition of a Sant Ravidas temple.
CRPF and police have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order even as the police claimed the situation is under control.
The protesters turned violent on Wednesday night when the police did not allow them to proceed to the site of the temple demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.
A wall now has been built around the land and a signboard placed, which reads: "According to the Supreme Court, this land belongs to Delhi Development Authority. Any illegal construction or possession of land is a punishable offence."
Local traders said they were pulling down the shutters of their shops when suddenly around 7 p.m. several people came charging in and started hurling stones at their shops and vehicles parked by the roadside.
"We locked ourselves along with a few customers in the shop till 9 p.m. They even broke a CCTV camera installed in front of my shop," said Rahul Gupta, a shop owner.
Many in the area said they have not let their children go out yet as they fear the violence can recur.
"They had vandalised a police bike in front of us and also smashed glasses of several cars. They were carrying sticks and breaking anything that came their way. We were standing in the balcony and watching all this. It was the first time we witnessed something of this sort. I have not allowed my kids to go out since last evening," said Vaibhav Kansal, a resident of the area.
According to the police, on Wednesday evening, a mob of the Bhim Army which came to Ravi Das Marg turned unruly and became violent despite appeals by the police to maintain peace and started throwing stones and attacking the policemen.
"Mild force had to be used to disperse the unruly mob. Some policemen also sustained injuries in the incident," said a police officer.
Delhi Police resorted to mild lathicharge and used tear gas to disperse the violent agitators who torched two-wheelers and vandalised a police vehicle.
More than 50 people were taken into custody.