Two days after a confrontation between a surging crowd of devotees participating in a mourning procession and the police occurred at the Karbala Shrine in south Delhi’s Jor Bagh, a case of rioting has been registered.
This happens to be the first case of rioting to be registered by the Delhi Police so far this year. Fifty cases of rioting were registered last year.
“We have identified three to four persons who incited and participated in the violence that ensued after a crowd clashed with the police over opening a gate located on the western flank of the shrine on Sunday,” said a senior police officer.
Sources said the decision to register the case at the Lodhi Colony Police Station was taken on Monday evening after the situation at the BK Dutt Colony, located adjacent to the shrine, continued to be tense.
At 6:30pm on Sunday evening, the police had resorted to lobbing tear gas shells in the air after a crowd of close to 200 devotees started pelting stones at officers on being stopped from opening the said gate.
Fourteen officers, including four Central Reserve Police Force personnel and 10 Delhi Police officers, were injured during the clash and residents claimed that at least half a dozen vehicles parked along the spot were damaged.
“The police acted without provocation. It was all pre-mediated and politically motivated,” said Shahid Zaidi (name changed on request), one of the devotees. “Despite being cornered, we exercised restraint but tear gas shells had to be lobbed when the crowd turned violent,” said the officer.