Molestation of girl triggers riots in Nangloi

Security personnel keeping vigil after the violent eruption at Nangloi in Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Security personnel keeping vigil after the violent eruption at Nangloi in Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Over a dozen members of two communities were injured and vehicles damaged when rioters ran amuck hurling bricks at each other in the narrow lanes of A-Block in Nangloi in New Delhi on Tuesday. Prohibitory orders were clamped and over 300 policemen deployed in the area to contain the second wave of violence that broke out on Monday after a girl was allegedly molested by some members of another community.

The fresh round of violence erupted late in the afternoon on Tuesday when members of one community started hurling bricks at members of the other community living on the other side of the street in camp no.2 of A-Block. Soon members of the other community retaliated using bricks from an under-construction site. A free-for-all followed with the rioters smashing window screens and damaging vehicles parked along the road.

“I was at home along with my widowed daughter-in-law when the rioters suddenly started throwing bricks at us from the rooftops. A brick hit me in the head and I started bleeding profusely. A policeman on patrol duty was also caught in the heavy brick throwing, but we managed to pull him inside in time,” said 85-year-old Dulari, pointing to the bricks and pieces of glass lying strewn on the road. The elderly woman was taken to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital along with some other injured for treatment.

Fearing for their lives, residents rushed back home and shopkeepers downed shutters. The unabated stone-pelting led the police to summon extra force. Four bus-loads of policemen in riot gears were dispatched to the spot to contain the violence. However, several policemen fell victim to the rampaging mobs. The police had to resort to mild force to bring the situation under control.

“As passions ran high on both sides, we thought the rioters would force their way into our houses and harm us. But then the police arrived in large numbers, which brought a great sense of relief,” said Vikas.

Arif, another area resident, alleged the violence started after three young men molested a girl from his community in the parking lot of the nearby Nangloi metro station on Monday. “One of them was caught on the spot, whereas the other two managed to flee. This led to a brawl between her relatives and family members of the accused persons. It snowballed into a full-fledged riot,” he said.

Claiming that there was no clarity on what exactly triggered the riot, another resident named Sumit said a similar incident had taken place during Holi celebrations about five years ago. “On Monday afternoon, members of one community threw stones at the other. When that stopped, we thought that it was all over.”

The police have registered a case of rioting and detained nearly two dozen men for their suspected involvement. “Efforts are under way to identify the other culprits, for which a police team has been conducted door-to-door searches,” said a police officer.

Even as the locals remained awake till late at night standing outside their houses and taking round of the streets armed with sticks fearing further violence, traffic on the main road not so far away from the trouble spot moved as usual. “We have contained the situation and things are now under control,” said a policeman in riot gear.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 6:13:43 AM |

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