Paramilitary forces were deployed today in the Sarai Kale Khan area of Delhi after 20 to 25 miscreants attacked a residential colony of Valmikis (a Scheduled Caste) and vandalised it on 20 March because a Hindu man from the community had dared to marry a Muslim woman, much as the bride had openly consented to the marriage. The rioting was captured in the CCTV cameras installed in the streets of the neighbourhood. Tension and gloom have descended upon the community since the evening when the bore the brunt of the fury of a Muslim mob.
The mob smashed pottery, broke open doors to houses in the Dalit neighbourhood and damaged motorcycles parked in the lanes. The miscreants, police sources said, entered the Hindu neighbourhood inhabited by Valmikis, armed with iron rods and caused panic in the area instantly.
The Hindu youth living in the Valmiki colony had got married to a Muslim woman days ago. Locals say when the woman met with objections from her parents’ community, she said she was conscious that her husband would be a Hindu, whose lifestyle may differ from hers, but she was proud of the choice she had made.
Locals reported that the bride’s family and other Muslims reached their area on Saturday after the sunset and vandalised it. They alleged some in the Muslim carried swords and country-made firearms too.
The Dalits alleged that, during the attack, the Muslims hurled caste slurs at them, which is punishable under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Residents of the area alleged that the police refused to invoke the SC-ST Act in the FIR registered against unknown persons.
Panic gripped the Hindu people of Sarai Kale Khan’s Valmiki Basti after the incident. Locals say the mob, while leaving the area, threatened that they would play “khoon ki Holi (Holi with blood)” this year.
Reporters who reached the spot today found themselves immediately surrounded by the Hindu residents who pleaded that the journalists write about their plight and prevail upon Delhi Police to protect them.
According to Delhi Police, besides their own personnel, ITBP jawans have been deployed in the area as a precautionary measure. Police are studying CCTV footage after registering a case to identify the mobsters.