Riot-hit Trilokpuri turned into a fortress on Friday for the Hindu religious ceremony of Jagran with more than 1500 police personnel and drones circling the area ensuring the sensitive event passed off without any violence.
The ceremony that usually runs all night was shortened to four hours, starting at 6pm. It was held at the same spot where violence first broke out last week.
The event passed off peacefully, with senior officials crediting cooperation between communities for keeping violence at bay, barely a week after clashes left more than 70 people injured in the east Delhi neighbourhood.
“People of all the communities joined hands. We had Muslims guarding the Jagran site voluntarily along with the police to maintain peace in the area,” said Sanjay Baniwal, Joint CP (eastern range).
The organizers of the Jagran lost their donation box during last week’s violence but received financial support from the police. Facing an acute shortage of funds, the Jagran samiti received voluntary donations from personnel deployed in the area who kept religious sentiments in mind.
Prohibitory orders were relaxed at 6am but were clamped again at 7pm. “The idea was to know who are visiting the area so that forces are ready to combat any situation,” Baniwal said. Orders prohibiting movement are expected to remain in place till at least November 5.
Police and paramilitary forces were also present on 38 roof-tops within a 100-metre range of the Jagran. “More than 350 personnel, along with senior officials, were present at the Jagran site,” said a senior official. Police also sought the help of un-manned Aerial Vehicles, night vision goggles and paint ball bullets.