Fear, uneasy calm prevail in Jahangirpuri

Sloganeering outside police station; Peace Committee meeting ends in ruckus; locals say first time in their memory such clash happened

Published: 18th April 2022 07:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2022 07:33 AM   |  A+A-

residents outside their houses after the clash | SHEKHAR YADAV

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  After a night of communal tension and clashes, Delhi’s northwest suburb of Jahangirpuri on Sunday woke up to anger and uncertainty. The Jahangirpuri Police Station was one of the centres of flare up on the day after members of the right-wing groups and some Muslim women started raising slogans. The women were protesting against the arrests made by the Delhi Police of their family members in the early hours of Sunday morning and late night on Saturday.

Meanwhile, at the Peace Committee meeting called by the Delhi Police, a BJP councillor blamed “illegal immigrants” for the violence. While the police had urged the Peace Committee members to engage in confidence-building measures, arguments broke out during discussions, after which the police had to forcibly disperse the members.

On the streets and lanes of C Block in the locality, which is a Muslim-dominated area, men and women were out of their homes from Sunday late afternoon and speaking to media personnel about what transpired on Saturday. According to furniture shop owner Mohammed Abid, he faced a loss of Rs 15,000 after the rioters damaged some of his goods kept outside. “Around 6.15 pm, I was outside with two of my workers. The third Shobha Yatra was being conducted.

Earlier in the day, two Shobha Yatras had already been conducted without any issue. In the third, around 500 people came and then, everyone started running in panic,” he said. Abid alleged social harmony is being disturbed intentionally. “Only three policemen were deployed when the procession reached in front of the mosque where the violence began. When the procession was of such a large scale, they could have deployed more men.” The Delhi Police said it was a “peaceful” Shobha Yatra, but at around 6 pm, when it reached near a mosque, a man, identified as Md Ansar along with four-five associates started arguing with the people involved in the procession.

It escalated and stone-throwing started from both sides. One Ritesh, who claimed that he threw stones and bottles during the clash, said the “first move” was taken by the other community. “If someone throws stones and bottles at you, what will you do? You will also do the same, right? We had no other way to save ourselves. Young boys were looting shops, torching vehicles and breaking counters of shops,” he added. Meanwhile, allegations were also made that those living in the clash-hit area are “immigrants” from Bangladesh.


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