Muharram peaceful in Bawana, Trilokpuri

Muharram procession in progress in outer Delhi’s Bawana area. Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

A revised route for Muharram procession and watchful eyes of the police ensured the occasion was observed peacefully in Bawana on Monday.

This happened two days after a Mahapanchayat – called to oppose the traditional route of the procession taken out by Muslims of a resettlement colony – was held and attended by a large number of villagers.

The gathering went ahead despite the Muslims agreeing to curtail the route of the procession which traditionally passed through a busy market in the largely Hindu village next to the colony.

Over a dozen small and big processions were paraded within the colony. Some of the pick up trucks carrying processions had policemen sitting in them.

Camera mounted unmanned-aerial vehicles, the Delhi Police’s new surveillance device which was recently used to assist searches in riot-effected Trilokpuri, was also employed to monitor the situation.

Even as the decision to reduce the route length is being described as one taken with mutual consensus among the procession organisers, some such as Bano, a local housewife, could not hide their disappointment.

“This is all because of politics that objections are being raised now. For so long, no one had a problem and now we have to suffer,” she said.

They may not have led the Muharram procession like the more-troubled Trilokpuri but the Hindus in the resettlement colony extended their support and cooperation to their Muslim neighbours. They said that the two communities have ensured a harmonious co-existence since they started living together in East Delhi nearly two decades ago.

“My parents tell me that even when the atmosphere was extremely volatile in the aftermath of the post-Babri riots in 1992, there was no trouble in our area. As a matter of fact, people took refuge in our colony. Nothing changed post resettlement but it seems politics will change that,” said Manish, a student.

But trouble, though kept at bay, made its presence felt. Those in the village’s Hindu localities claimed they were prepared for “trouble caused in case of a diversion in the route”. The preparations included mobilisation of locals and arming them with sticks. Some of them arrived at the resettlement colony since morning to keep an eye on the situation and alert those in their areas.

The largely rural Outer Delhi neighbourhood of Bawana has been gripped by communal tension in the recent times after those from the largely Hindu villages in the outskirts blamed the Muslims in the resettlement colony of carrying out cow slaughter last month.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:46:33 AM |

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