Clashes broke out between Muslims and Hindus during a Hanuman Jayanti Shobhayatra in north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri last evening. Several police personnel were injured in the ensuing violence.
According to eyewitnesses, as the procession approached the spot of trouble, Muslims wielding swords kept aside their weapons and hurled stones at the Hindus. The Hindus retaliated by stoning the Muslim mob too. Some vehicles torched in the violence that occurred at around 6 PM yesterday.
Security personnel were deployed in Jahangirpuri to get the situation under control. Delhi Police initiated a probe into the incident last night. An FIR was lodged and the police arrested 14 people.
A total of nine people were injured in the incident. This includes eight cops and one civilian. The injured were admitted to Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital. A sub-inspector, Medha Lal, sustained a bullet injury. The bullet, fired from the Muslim side, had ricocheted from an object and hit the cop. His condition is stable.
The mobster who had fired the bullet has been identified as Mohammad Aslam alias Khodu.
Of the 14 people arrested, one has been accused of opening fire. The pistol used for the shot has been recovered from him. He was involved in a police case in 2020 as well.
The special cell of Delhi Police had submitted a charge sheet against this man in a court for the 2020 riots in north-east Delhi, which had been perpetrated in the name of democratic protests against the amended citizenship law that was enacted to provide refuge to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries. This man, among the rioters of 2020, was found trafficking Bangladeshi women, children and also men from C Block of Kushal Chowk to Shaheen Bagh, in six or seven buses. The suspect trafficked Bangladeshis also from C Block Idgah of Jahangirpuri. He allegedly trafficked 300-350 Bangladeshis to the Muslim protest site a day. His name, as registered in the FIR, is Ansar.
Ansar allegedly had a few accomplices yesterday, but they have not been named in the FIR.
Further probe is underway. The police are trying to figure out whether the clash was part of a planned conspiracy or if it broke out suddenly after a quarrel.
The commissioner of Delhi Police said the local police would continue to investigate the incident. Delhi Police is combing through CCTV footage in order to identify the main culprits in the incident. The police are also using drone footage to see if stones were stored on the rooftops of houses.
Meanwhile, a new video of the clashes has surfaced in which people can be seen brandishing swords in front of the Delhi Police.
Meanwhile, the police in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, are on high alert. The cops carried out intensive patrolling in the wake of yesterday’s communal clashes in Delhi.
In Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, there was heavy security deployment even this morning.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has deployed five more companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to maintain law and order in Delhi. Five hundred jawans will be stationed in different parts of the city.
The CRPF will cooperate with Delhi Police to ensure security is maintained.
Two companies of the Rapid Action Force were deployed on 16 April.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the commissioner of police and special commissioner (law and order) yesterday and directed them to take all necessary action following the violence, sources said.
Delhi Police also apprised the top functionaries of the MHA about the situation.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the incident was extremely condemnable and appealed to all to maintain peace. He said the Lt Governor had assured him that all steps were being to ensure peace and that guilty would not be spared.
“The incident of stone-pelting on Shobhayatra (procession) in Delhi”s Jahangirpuri is extremely condemnable. Strict action should be taken against the guilty. Appeal to all — maintain peace and hold each other”s other,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.