Peace meet held in Hauz Qazi; three nabbed for vandalism

Chawri Bazar remains under heavy security; paramilitary force also deployed

July 03, 2019 01:17 am | Updated 01:17 am IST - New Delhi

CRPF personnel at Chawri Bazar in Old Delhi on Tuesday.

CRPF personnel at Chawri Bazar in Old Delhi on Tuesday.

A peace meeting was held in central Delhi’s Hauz Qazi on Tuesday evening wherein the residents agreed to “live cordially”, said an officer.

On Sunday, a mob had vandalised a temple in the area after an argument broke out between two men over a parking issue.

A street divided

The street from Chawri Bazar metro station gate number 2 towards the police station still stands divided by barricades.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa confirmed that three men, including a minor, have been nabbed in connection with the case.

An officer said the accused have been identified as Zuber and Anas while the minor is 15 years old.

Throughout the day, hundreds of policemen and paramilitary force maintained vigil in the area and asked people to disperse whenever they gathered in huge numbers.

The fracas began when 47-year-old Sanjeev Gupta, a caterer, asked Aas Mohd, who runs a food cart in the street below his house, to not park his bike at the entrance. They got into an argument and physical fight.

A few minutes later, nearly 300 people reached Mr. Gupta’s house and vandalised a nearby temple.

On Tuesday, Sahil Khan (29), a resident, claimed that at 11.30 a.m., around 15-20 persons crossed the street and chanted “ Jai Shri Ram ” and “ Bharat Mata Ki Jai ”. “We have no issues when someone says ‘ Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Even we would say that because we live in India but their intention was to instigate us. Otherwise, why would they cross the street?” he said.

A 25-year-old accountant, Johny Prajapati, who had come with a group from Bhajanpura, admitted that a few people had chanted religious slogans.

Supporting hand

“We have come here in support of our brothers because they are less in number in this area. We want all those who vandalised the temple to be arrested. We will leave only after that,” he said.

Late in the evening, Mr. Gupta said the situation was under control and “people have left… only police officers are there”.

The residents of Durga Mandir street said they want the groups to be here because they “feel safer”.

In the surcharged space, a group that identified itself as People’s Own Foundation held placards for communal peace and shouted “Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai… sab hain bhai bhai [all are brothers]”.

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