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'We are not Bangladeshis': Jahangirpuri residents respond to BJP's accusations

People say they have been living in city from a time when Indira Gandhi was the PM.

Published: 19th April 2022 09:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th April 2022 09:20 AM   |  A+A-

Forensic team investigate after clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession

Forensic team investigate after clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Contrary to the Delhi BJP claim that Bangladeshis and Rohingyas living in Jahangirpuri are responsible for Saturday’s violence in the area, locals told The Morning Standard that they came from West Bengal during the tenure of Indira Gandhi who helped them settle down in the north-west Delhi locality.

The people living in the area said they originally belonged to places such as Haldia, Midnapore, Malda, North 24 Parganas, Howrah and other places in West Bengal. Hasina Bibi says she has been living in Delhi since she was only three years old. “For three years, my family lived on the banks of the Yamuna. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi provided this land to us. I am from Haldia and not from Bangladesh. I never heard this about us in the past and now they are claiming that we are from Bangladesh,” said Bibi.

Sheikh Babloo says he came to Delhi in 1973 and lived along the Yamuna banks. “In 1976 we came to Jahangirpuri. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi used to visit us and give us chocolates. We used to run behind their vehicles,” he said. 

Shah Alam, 60, echoed the same views. “When I came to this place, there was no paved roads. It was a village as Azadpur was not created. Even streetlights were few and not everyone had cooking gas connection. There were no sewer connections nor any drains. So how can they tell us that we are from Bangladesh or are Rohingyas,” said Alam. “We want to live peacefully,” he added.

The Morning Standard got in touch with AK Jain who worked as Commissioner (Planning), Delhi Development Authority and as a member of the Committee of the Ministry of Urban Development on the DDA to verify the claims of the Jahangirpuri residents.

He said that the claims appear valid as Indira Gandhi did plan these resettlement colonies. “During 1974-1975, Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister and Jagmohan was the chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA). She asked him that there should not be slums in the Yamuna river basin and the people living there should be resettled,” said Jain.

Jain said the DDA then allotted land to 40 such resettlement colonies in Trilokpuri and Jahangirpuri. The management of the colonies was in the hands of the DDA’s Slum and Jhuggi Jhopri Board. “Many migrants came to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and have settled in the national capital,” he said, adding some people from Bangladesh might have arrived in Delhi when that country was liberated in 1971. 

‘We belonged to places from Bengal’
The people living in the area said they originally belonged to places such as Haldia, Midnapore, Malda, North 24 Parganas, Howrah and other places in West Bengal.

Controversy

Why ‘masterminds’ found with AAP link, claims BJP
Delhi BJP leaders on Monday claimed links between Jahangirpuri violence accused Md Ansar and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), saying police should probe why ‘masterminds’ of the incident were found associated with a particular party. In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor asked him to expel Ansar from the party.

“Delhiites want a reply from the AAP leadership over the involvement of the youth, apparently an AAP worker, in the Jahangirpuri riots. Earlier too, we saw AAP councilor Tahir Hussain as the main accused of 2020 Delhi riots,” said Kapoor. Manoj Tiwari, BJP MP from northeast Delhi who was rocked by violence in 2020, said, “The mastermind of the attack — Md Ansar — is a worker of AAP. There are evidences of this in the form of photographs. Tahir Hussain, the mastermind of the Delhi riots in 2020 was also an AAP councilor.”

BJP responsible for riots, honours goons: AAP leaders
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit back hard at BJP’s mudslinging in light of the recent violence that transpired in the national capital. AAP Chief Spokesperson and MLA Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj and Senior Leader & MLA Ms Atishi attacked the BJP and its leaders for spreading misinformation in the masses and called out the BJP’s bluff with the riots it had fuelled itself. Atishi said, “BJP honored the ‘goons’ who attacked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and sent a message to the masses that BJP supports goons and rioters.

Soon after that, riots broke out in Delhi. Rioters had the confidence to commit violence after seeing BJP honour goons. It is clear that BJP itself is behind the riots.” On the other hand Bhardwaj said, “No such incident took place when Shobha Yatra was taken out by the AAP.  But when the BJP organises the Shobha Yatra, only then such incidents happen. It is clear from this that the BJP is responsible for the riots.” 



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