‘Slogans raised outside mosque in Shahdara’

Assembly Speaker and area MLA Ram Niwas Goel says will go to police

April 06, 2018 01:36 am | Updated 01:36 am IST - NEW DELHI

Members of a Ram Navami procession last month stopped outside a mosque in Shahdara and waved swords in the air, Delhi Assembly Speaker and area MLA Ram Niwas Goel said on Thursday.

At a time when violent incidents during Ram Navami processions have been reported in other parts of the country, this incident was raised in the Delhi Assembly by the Speaker.

Unsheathed swords

Addressing the House, Mr. Goel said: “People carrying unsheathed swords went outside a mosque in my constituency. There has been no FIR yet. Though it is not as per protocol, but I will go myself to the police to have the FIR lodged.”

Later, Mr. Goel asked all MLAs to submit written complaints of any similar incidents in their constituencies to him on Friday. He said he would take the complaints to the Police Commissioner.

Though The Hindu cannot independently verify the authenticity, videos obtained from locals show the motorcycle procession with men wielding swords and saffron flags stop outside a mosque in Vishwakarma Nagar.

At one point, some of the men disembark from their motorcycles and scooters, while a dialogue threatening violence from the 1996 Hindi movie Jeet plays.

In another video, the procession halts outside a gurdwara and some members dance as a song plays over the loudspeakers.

Several other videos show the motorcycle procession making its way through the streets of Shahdara, with flags and swords being waved. The motorcycles also intermittently emitted high decibel sounds from the silencers backfiring.

Police aware

The police, for their part, said that they were aware of the incident, but the locals had decided against lodging a complaint.

“We got information from locals about slogans raised outside a religious place in Vishwakarma Nagar in Jhilmil on the occasion of Ram Navami. Both the parties were called to the police station and they resolved the matter on their own since they were all locals. If there are any other grievances, they can come to meet me at my office,” said Nupur Prasad, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara).

The Assembly, which was supposed to have a discussion on the “alleged attempts to incite communal disturbances on the pretext of Ram Navami procession” on Thursday, ended up postponing it and is likely to have the discussion during the extended portion of the session.

The session was supposed to end on Thursday, but was extended for two days — Friday and April 9.

MLAs walk out

The BJP MLAs had earlier staged a walkout, saying that the discussion on the Ram Navami processions was an excuse to divert attention from the alleged scam in ration.

(With inputs from Saurabh Trivedi)

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