Temple idols vandalised; old Delhi tense, media misleads

MLA and AAP rebel Kapil Mishra posted a video of the incident on Twitter, which makes the identity of those who vandalised the temple quite clear

temple vandalised at Chawri Bazaar area, Delhi
Interiors of the vandalised temple

New Delhi: Communal tension gripped the Hauz Qazi neighbourhood of old Delhi since this morning after some devotees discovered that the idols in a temple of the area had been desecrated and vandalised last night. However, a section of the media is trying its best to mislead the people by claiming that a scuffle broke out over a parking dispute. Seizing the opportunity, a Muslim journalist has blamed Bajrang Dal and “outsiders” for the strife. And this fake news is not a social media creation but this has been published by a mainstream news website Navjeevan.

Even some mainstream Hindi media houses (Dainik Jagran, for example) have tried to suppress the facts or mitigate the grievance of the outraged Hindus by describing the temple as “dhārmik imārat” rather than a mandir, along the lines of their English language cousins who describe Muslims as “members of a certain community”.

In the meantime, police have cordoned off the area and deployed its personnel heavily in the area. The Hauz Qazi market has been closed in fear of a riot.

temple vandalised at Chawri Bazaar area, Delhi
Heavy deployment of police personnel, including riot police, in the area since the morning of 1 July

While it’s a fact that the Chawri Bazaar area witnessed a dispute over parking of vehicles, when the police had received a complaint at 11:30 PM, they arrived soon and dispersed the crowd. Eyewitnesses say a mob of more than a hundred people arrived after it was believed that the dispute is settled, barged into the temple of the locality and vandalised the idols inside.

“We reached the spot and pacified the agitated mob and brought both the parties to Hauz Qazi police station for further action in the case,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, DCP (central).

“We have registered a case into the matter and obtained CCTV footage to identify miscreants who tried to harm communal peace in the area,” said the DCP.

MLA and AAP rebel Kapil Mishra tweeted about the incident along with a video, saying, “This video will make you cry – ये पाकिस्तान नहीं बल्कि दिल्ली के चावड़ी बाजार का हिन्दू मंदिर हैं (this is not Pakistan but the Hindu temple of the Chawri Bazaar area of Delhi)”

“कल धर्म विशेष की भीड़ ने मंदिर में घुसकर इन मूर्तियों को तोड़ा हैं (yesterday, a crowd of a certain community barged into the temple and broke these idols)”

“बदमाशों या गुंडों ने नहीं, सैकड़ो लोकल लोगों की भीड़ ने, अपने धर्म के नारे लगाते हुए ये मंदिर तोड़ा डाला (these were not miscreants or goons; the locals in hundreds vandalised the temple, raising slogans of their religion).”