Udayavni Special

3 held for vandalising temple in Delhi’s Chawri Bazaar, communities meet to defuse tension


PTI, Jul 3, 2019, 8:16 AM IST

New Delhi: Two persons have been arrested and a minor apprehended for allegedly vandalising a temple in Delhi’s Chawri Bazaar’s area, as a row over parking a scooter snowballed into a communal flare up, police said Tuesday.

A Delhi Police official confirmed the arrests but declined to divulge further details.

Late in the evening people from the two communities, in presence police, held discussions on ways to defuse the tension, which continued for the second day over the incident that happened on Sunday night.

Jamshed Siddiqui, who was present in the meeting, said, “We have spoken to each other on the issue and decided that the ‘aman committee’ (peace committee) would bear the expenses to renovate the vandalised temple.”

“We want peace in the area as it was earlier. We condemn the incident and the culprits, who have vandalised the temple, must be punished,” he said.

Bittoo, who was also present during the talks, said, “People from both the communities are living here happily for many decades. The market will be opened on Wednesday and the locals will bring back peace with the help of each other.”

“In the meeting, it has been decided that the culprits must be punished. Everybody will live peacefully and the market will be opened from Wednesday,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad volunteers visited the area during the day and demanded arrest of those who vandalised the temple. Prayers were also held, but outside the temple premises amid huge police presence.

VHP’s Delhi unit working president Alok Kumar met Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and demanded the arrest of the culprits.

A team led Kumar told Patnaik that there could be a “larger design” behind the incident to “change the demography of the area”.

Police personnel and paramilitary forces continue to be present in the area.

Sanjeev Gupta, who was at the centre of the whole incident, said when Aas Mohammad parked his scooter outside the building, he asked him to remove it as it was blocking a path commonly used by people.

“Thereafter, he, along with other persons, who were drunk, started beating me. In the meantime, I called police and narrated them the incident. Police took me and Aas Mohammad to police station where the issue of scuffle was resolved,” Gupta said.

“I just want those who vandalised the temple to renovate it and help everyone to maintain peace in the locality as it was earlier,” he said.

Rahul Kashyap (26), a local who works at a private company, said, “We want police to take action against people who vandalised the temple and ask them to renovate it as soon as possible.”

“The idols in the temple have been vandalised and we cannot worship there until the new idols are placed,” said Aniket Mehra (26), who has a business of catering.

Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Shahi Imam of Fateh Puri Masjid also condemned the incident.

“The act is condemnable and no one has the right to vandalise or hurt the religious sentiment of any person. The RWA of Lal Kuan area would bear the expense of the temple and I appeal to the locals to help each other in maintaining peace. Please do not believe in the rumours,” said the Shahi Imam.

Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, the local MP, also visited the spot and reviewed security situation. He said police will take necessary actions.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia appealed to people to believe in rumours and maintain peace. “Delhi will win and hatred will lose.”

Former Union Minister Vijay Goel, who has represented the Chandni Chowk constituency twice, accused the AAP for using the incident for political gains.

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