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Jahangirpuri: “Peace” on the ground, but what about the fear in the hearts?

Around 23 arrests have been made so far, all reportedly of Muslims only, BJP and AAP begin the political blame game

Sabrangindia 18 Apr 2022

Jahangirpuri
Image: PTI

After a weekend of violence, the situation in North West Delhi's Jahangirpuri remained “tense but under control”, a term often used by police in official statements issued to the media. According to media reports, there is “heavy police deployment”, hours after violent clashes broke out during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, where stone-pelting, arson were reported. The injured included around eight police personnel and a civilian. According to media reports Delhi Police said that 23 arrests have been made so far. However even as there is “peace” in the area, there is fear in the hearts of many residents.

A multiparty fact finding delegation of CPI, CPIM, CPI (ML), visited the area on Sunday and met the locals. "The masjid area is blocked by the police, we visited the residential area where mostly the Bengali Muslims live. They are being targeted as Bangladeshi/ Rohingyas,” said Maimoona Mollah'sGeneral Secretary of the CPI (M) and a senior leader of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA). The group met with people who were too scared to talk to anyone. For the uninitiated Hanuman Jayanti has mostly been a smaller celebration in Delhi, and Shobha Yatras in the past have not really been communalised, said olde residents.

There were three processions in the Jahangirpuri area on Saturday, in the first two there were reportedly minor arguments between Hindus and Muslims, but the matter “was mutually resolved” by the people. However the third procession was a big one and those participating were allegedly carrying  swords, bhaalas (spears), bats and sticks, recalled locals on conditions of anonymity that the group then stopped at a temple that is in front of the Jahangirpuri mosque. Here the temple ‘head’ Karnail Singh has been seen on video chanting slogans of "Jisko Is Desh Mein Rehna Hoga Jai Sri Ram Kehna Hoga". This is the spot that became the centre of the communal clash of Saturday evening.

 

 

This is what the locals told the fact finding team as well. The third procession was right around Iftar time, recalled the women of Jahangirpuri, adding that the shobha yatra participants allegedly tried to vandalise the mosque, plant saffron flags, pelted stones, and a group of Muslim men allegely retaliated. “We did not say do not take out your religious procession, you can say jai sri ram it is your faith, but you can't vandalise our mosque and establish your flag. Do you think you will accept it if we do this in a mandir?” asked a young woman who has not stepped out since. Another woman alleged that the police came to her house at 2 A.M on Sunday, searched her house and took her son-in-law away. When the women resisted, she alleged that police men punched them on the chest “while the policewomen stood and watched.” 

According to Mollah, the delegation were told that the Bajrang Dal was at the police station as well, and the delegation which had planned to go there also saw many people there. “Some had flags, not all. The DCP said he will "disperse” the crowds "attending" the area MP's press meet as they were blocking the PS gate. We saw it was a leader with an orange stole and asked the police what he was doing in the police station,” she told SabrangIndia that she was told it was the area Member of Parliament [Hansraj Hans]. The delegation however was told that “police officer was shot in the leg,” Mollah said the delegation responded that “it should be investigated,” and that they did see Muslim youth being detained at the station as well. According to the locals, “The police did nothing while the vandalism was going on.” Many of the locals have now refused to talk to anyone including the media as they fear for their lives.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from North-west Delhi Hansraj Hans “appealed for peace”. He, according to a report in The Print. has also spoken of “some international powers that might want to weaken India, as we are becoming stronger.” According to Mollah, even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is still not talking about the vandalism of the mosque, the Prime Minister is maintaining an “eerie silence”. It is now up to the citizens again to maintain peace and prevent any communal unrest. “They [residents] are traumatised, petrified to open their mouths,” recalled Mollah.

What had happened in Jahangirpuri?

According to multiple media reports there were “mobs brandishing weapons… stones hurled, shots fired,” in Jahangirpuri's C-block. A report in Hindustan Times stated that locals recalled that “Hindus and Muslims live here in harmony, and the Saturday clash came as a shock.” Shopkeeper, and residents recalled that they rushed home as soon as they heard of the classhed. The HT report quoted Manoj Middya, a shopkeeper and a resident of C-Block, who said, "I have been living in the area for many years and I have never seen this kind of violence. My neighbours are Muslims, but we have never faced any communal problems. We have all been living in harmony."

According to Aquib, another resident quoted in the report, it was the third procession, with people brandishing weapons and “I could only see two policemen there. This is negligence on the part of authorities.” His words echo that of the women, who spoke to the fact finding team who met them on Sunday. "There is a Kali Temple here and my neighbours are Hindus. We have never faced any problems. We’ve been living here peacefully," added Aquib, according to the HT report. Another local Sheikh Amzad, who was inside the mosque when the violence took place on Saturday evening. He was quoted as recalling that while they were praying namaz “the procession gathered outside and started screaming 'Maaro inn gaddaro ko'. We were just doing our usual Ramzan rituals, what is wrong in that? Does reading namaz makes one a traitor?” 

How have the political leaders responded?

According to the news report, the right-wing outfits, including the VHP, have “alleged that as the procession was passing people from surrounding areas started gathering with sticks and batons.” The tone seems to have been echoed by none other than Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who said, “stone pelting on the procession” was condemnable and asked that “strict action should be taken against those who are guilty.”

 

 

Kejriwal had also announced that to celebrate “Hanuman Janamotsav” episodes of Sunderkand were staged in the New Delhi Assembly constituency for the first time, and will soon “be performed all over Delhi.” According to the Chief Minister “Lord Hanuman is known as ‘Sankat Mochan Hanuman’ as he drives away all the troubles of his devotees. By simply praying to him, chanting his name and worshipping him, many people feel relieved of the problems in their life. All of you have given us the responsibility to work for Delhi’s progress, and we simply take Lord Hanuman’s name, seek his blessings and do our best to rid you of all your problems. It is our aim to make sure that the people of Delhi do not have to bear with difficulties related to health, education, and other facilities – we are consistently making efforts to provide quality education to your children, free medical treatment to your ailing family members, free electricity and water, developed roads, and more.”

 

 

On the situation in Jahangirpuri, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal said he has been assured “that guilty will not be spared.”

 

 

The CM reportedly appealed for calm, but  Bharatiya Janata Party man Kapil Mishra has called it a “a terror attack.” Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner has also warned that “strict action will be taken against any attempt to disturb law and order. The public is requested not to pay attention to the rumours and fake news.”

 

 

He added that “senior officers have been asked to remain in field and closely supervise the law & order situation & undertake patrolling. Strict action will be taken against rioters.” Delhi Lt. Governor’s office, according to a report in Indian Express, has issued a statement and “condemned the incidents of violence and stone pelting in the National Capital as unfortunate and said that none behind these activities will be spared.” The Lt. Governor also asked the CP “to depute forces at all other identified sensitive areas/localities in the city and ensure mobile patrolling and vigil under the direct supervision and responsibility of senior officers” added the news report.

 

Related:

Hanuman Jayanti procession participants hoist flag on Gujarat dargah 

Jahangirpuri Violence: 14 Arrested, all from the minority community, main accused a minor?

Mob sets three houses ablaze in Agra over interfaith relationship

Karnataka: Muslim man beaten up for travelling with Hindu woman

Delhi Violence: Shifa-Ur-Rehman denied bail again in UAPA case

In 6 years, Centre sanctioned scholarships worth ₹ 15,785.36 cr

Jahangirpuri: “Peace” on the ground, but what about the fear in the hearts?

Around 23 arrests have been made so far, all reportedly of Muslims only, BJP and AAP begin the political blame game

Jahangirpuri
Image: PTI

After a weekend of violence, the situation in North West Delhi's Jahangirpuri remained “tense but under control”, a term often used by police in official statements issued to the media. According to media reports, there is “heavy police deployment”, hours after violent clashes broke out during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, where stone-pelting, arson were reported. The injured included around eight police personnel and a civilian. According to media reports Delhi Police said that 23 arrests have been made so far. However even as there is “peace” in the area, there is fear in the hearts of many residents.

A multiparty fact finding delegation of CPI, CPIM, CPI (ML), visited the area on Sunday and met the locals. "The masjid area is blocked by the police, we visited the residential area where mostly the Bengali Muslims live. They are being targeted as Bangladeshi/ Rohingyas,” said Maimoona Mollah'sGeneral Secretary of the CPI (M) and a senior leader of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA). The group met with people who were too scared to talk to anyone. For the uninitiated Hanuman Jayanti has mostly been a smaller celebration in Delhi, and Shobha Yatras in the past have not really been communalised, said olde residents.

There were three processions in the Jahangirpuri area on Saturday, in the first two there were reportedly minor arguments between Hindus and Muslims, but the matter “was mutually resolved” by the people. However the third procession was a big one and those participating were allegedly carrying  swords, bhaalas (spears), bats and sticks, recalled locals on conditions of anonymity that the group then stopped at a temple that is in front of the Jahangirpuri mosque. Here the temple ‘head’ Karnail Singh has been seen on video chanting slogans of "Jisko Is Desh Mein Rehna Hoga Jai Sri Ram Kehna Hoga". This is the spot that became the centre of the communal clash of Saturday evening.

 

 

This is what the locals told the fact finding team as well. The third procession was right around Iftar time, recalled the women of Jahangirpuri, adding that the shobha yatra participants allegedly tried to vandalise the mosque, plant saffron flags, pelted stones, and a group of Muslim men allegely retaliated. “We did not say do not take out your religious procession, you can say jai sri ram it is your faith, but you can't vandalise our mosque and establish your flag. Do you think you will accept it if we do this in a mandir?” asked a young woman who has not stepped out since. Another woman alleged that the police came to her house at 2 A.M on Sunday, searched her house and took her son-in-law away. When the women resisted, she alleged that police men punched them on the chest “while the policewomen stood and watched.” 

According to Mollah, the delegation were told that the Bajrang Dal was at the police station as well, and the delegation which had planned to go there also saw many people there. “Some had flags, not all. The DCP said he will "disperse” the crowds "attending" the area MP's press meet as they were blocking the PS gate. We saw it was a leader with an orange stole and asked the police what he was doing in the police station,” she told SabrangIndia that she was told it was the area Member of Parliament [Hansraj Hans]. The delegation however was told that “police officer was shot in the leg,” Mollah said the delegation responded that “it should be investigated,” and that they did see Muslim youth being detained at the station as well. According to the locals, “The police did nothing while the vandalism was going on.” Many of the locals have now refused to talk to anyone including the media as they fear for their lives.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from North-west Delhi Hansraj Hans “appealed for peace”. He, according to a report in The Print. has also spoken of “some international powers that might want to weaken India, as we are becoming stronger.” According to Mollah, even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is still not talking about the vandalism of the mosque, the Prime Minister is maintaining an “eerie silence”. It is now up to the citizens again to maintain peace and prevent any communal unrest. “They [residents] are traumatised, petrified to open their mouths,” recalled Mollah.

What had happened in Jahangirpuri?

According to multiple media reports there were “mobs brandishing weapons… stones hurled, shots fired,” in Jahangirpuri's C-block. A report in Hindustan Times stated that locals recalled that “Hindus and Muslims live here in harmony, and the Saturday clash came as a shock.” Shopkeeper, and residents recalled that they rushed home as soon as they heard of the classhed. The HT report quoted Manoj Middya, a shopkeeper and a resident of C-Block, who said, "I have been living in the area for many years and I have never seen this kind of violence. My neighbours are Muslims, but we have never faced any communal problems. We have all been living in harmony."

According to Aquib, another resident quoted in the report, it was the third procession, with people brandishing weapons and “I could only see two policemen there. This is negligence on the part of authorities.” His words echo that of the women, who spoke to the fact finding team who met them on Sunday. "There is a Kali Temple here and my neighbours are Hindus. We have never faced any problems. We’ve been living here peacefully," added Aquib, according to the HT report. Another local Sheikh Amzad, who was inside the mosque when the violence took place on Saturday evening. He was quoted as recalling that while they were praying namaz “the procession gathered outside and started screaming 'Maaro inn gaddaro ko'. We were just doing our usual Ramzan rituals, what is wrong in that? Does reading namaz makes one a traitor?” 

How have the political leaders responded?

According to the news report, the right-wing outfits, including the VHP, have “alleged that as the procession was passing people from surrounding areas started gathering with sticks and batons.” The tone seems to have been echoed by none other than Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who said, “stone pelting on the procession” was condemnable and asked that “strict action should be taken against those who are guilty.”

 

 

Kejriwal had also announced that to celebrate “Hanuman Janamotsav” episodes of Sunderkand were staged in the New Delhi Assembly constituency for the first time, and will soon “be performed all over Delhi.” According to the Chief Minister “Lord Hanuman is known as ‘Sankat Mochan Hanuman’ as he drives away all the troubles of his devotees. By simply praying to him, chanting his name and worshipping him, many people feel relieved of the problems in their life. All of you have given us the responsibility to work for Delhi’s progress, and we simply take Lord Hanuman’s name, seek his blessings and do our best to rid you of all your problems. It is our aim to make sure that the people of Delhi do not have to bear with difficulties related to health, education, and other facilities – we are consistently making efforts to provide quality education to your children, free medical treatment to your ailing family members, free electricity and water, developed roads, and more.”

 

 

On the situation in Jahangirpuri, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal said he has been assured “that guilty will not be spared.”

 

 

The CM reportedly appealed for calm, but  Bharatiya Janata Party man Kapil Mishra has called it a “a terror attack.” Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner has also warned that “strict action will be taken against any attempt to disturb law and order. The public is requested not to pay attention to the rumours and fake news.”

 

 

He added that “senior officers have been asked to remain in field and closely supervise the law & order situation & undertake patrolling. Strict action will be taken against rioters.” Delhi Lt. Governor’s office, according to a report in Indian Express, has issued a statement and “condemned the incidents of violence and stone pelting in the National Capital as unfortunate and said that none behind these activities will be spared.” The Lt. Governor also asked the CP “to depute forces at all other identified sensitive areas/localities in the city and ensure mobile patrolling and vigil under the direct supervision and responsibility of senior officers” added the news report.

 

Related:

Hanuman Jayanti procession participants hoist flag on Gujarat dargah 

Jahangirpuri Violence: 14 Arrested, all from the minority community, main accused a minor?

Mob sets three houses ablaze in Agra over interfaith relationship

Karnataka: Muslim man beaten up for travelling with Hindu woman

Delhi Violence: Shifa-Ur-Rehman denied bail again in UAPA case

In 6 years, Centre sanctioned scholarships worth ₹ 15,785.36 cr

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