PEACE HAS returned to the Kazi Ki Chawl area, though all shops were closed on Thursday morning despite heavy police presence in the area. Senior police officials remained at the spot well into Wednesday night talking to the terrified yet angry residents of the area and assuring them that no harm would come to them. Even 24 hours after the incident, there was fear among the people who could be seen huddled in groups discussing the turn of events.
Many residents have locked up their houses and left the area to stay with friends and relatives in other places. In other houses, though the males were present, the women and children had been sent elsewhere.
The morning was not without its dramatic moments. A man, possibly deranged, suddenly targeted a utensil shop in the area where the fracas took place Wednesday evening and started throwing around utensils and shouting pro-Hindu slogans. Before he could create any more mischief, the police took him into custody.
In another incident, which created a minor sensation in the area, a jawan of the DRP Line inadvertently fired his gun in the air.
The incident occurred at around 8 am, when the constable was travelling in a police van along with others. The bullet pierced the roof of the van and went out. No one was hurt. The police have pieced together the exact reason behind the events that led to tension on Wednesday.
Neither SP Anshuman Yadav nor any other senior police official wanted to come on record about the exact sequence of events that led to the violence, but sources said three Hindu youths had an altercation with a Muslim shopkeeper over buying a leather belt.
This incident took place a little distance away from the actual site of the rampage. One Ayub came to intercede on behalf of the shopkeeper, and the youths and Ayub had heated exchanges. Subsequently, Ayub was coming towards the mosque at Kazi Ki Chawl, and he was once again accosted by the three youths and some others.
However, the youths had to beat a hasty retreat when they were confronted by Ayub and his fellows Muslim of the area, all of who were going for ‘namaaz’.
The youths took this as an affront and gathered other followers who armed themselves with swords and attacked Kazi Ki Chawl.