In a bid to spread a message of peace and communal harmony, around 200 residents of riot-hit Jahangirpuri on Sunday took out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in the area with shops and houses in the locality hoisting the tricolour to commemorate the event.
The yatra started at around 6 p.m. with both Hindu and Muslim residents seen holding the tricolour and chanting slogans such as “ Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai Aapas Me Hai Bhai Bhai” and “ Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
The march, which consisted of both elderly and children, started from the C-Block roundabout opposite Kushal Cinema, following which it went towards the B Block market. The crowd eventually headed towards the Hindu-majority G Block and ended the yatra, after around 30 minutes.
The march was attended by the locality’s RWA members as well. Most of the shops and houses in the area also had a tricolour hoisted outside the premises.
Amjad Ali, a resident of C-Block, said he had sent his children to attend the yatra and has hoisted a flag on top of his house and his chicken shop in order to show support to peace in the locality.
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“I got to know that such a yatra was being carried out in the area three days back, so I’ve sent my children to be part of it…even they (children) have stepped out after days of chaos, now there is normalcy in the area,” Ali said.
Marching along with the group, a Muslim resident said that there will be no enmity and both the communities will live alongside each other just like they have in all these years. “We are like brothers here and we will stay here like a family as we have lived in the last 40 years,” he said.
Businessman Rakesh Mehra, said the march was “a first step towards peace” and that those who carried out the violence “were outsiders”. “Those who caused disharmony here were all outsiders…one of my friends was also injured in the clashes but I want to forget what happened on that day and spread the message of peace”.
DCP (Northwest) Usha Rangnani had said that adequate security arrangements had been made in the area to curb any breach of protocols. Police had removed the barricades from the C-Block roundabout during the march in order to ensure smooth movement of the crowd. Apart from teams of Delhi Police, CRPF jawans were also deployed in the area.
The yatra comes days after communal clashes broke out in Northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri after a ‘Shobha Yatra’ to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti was taken out in the area. The violence escalated into instances of stone pelting and vandalism. Police has so far arrested 25 persons and apprehended two juveniles in connection with the incident.
Last week, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) carried out an “anti-encroachment” drive in the area and ended up uprooting several shops, belonging mostly to Muslim residents of C-Block. The Apex Court later ordered status quo on the drive.