Conspiracy or not? Police lens on glass bottles from scrap shops used as arms

Updated on Apr 20, 2022 03:08 PM IST

The officials claimed at least two of the arrested people run scrap shops, and had stocked up on glass bottles, which were used as projectiles, while a third is a scrap dealer.

Police personnel stationed at Jahangirpuri area after communal clashes on Hanuman Jayanti, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times) PREMIUM
Police personnel stationed at Jahangirpuri area after communal clashes on Hanuman Jayanti, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)
By, New Delhi

On Saturday evening, within minutes of clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups during a religious procession in north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, rioters used bottles from the several scrap shops in one of the lanes near the site of the violence, to attack police personnel and other residents, according to officials aware of the investigation, even as the crime branch nabbed two more people on Tuesday.

The officials claimed at least two of the arrested people run scrap shops, and had stocked up on glass bottles, which were used as projectiles, while a third is a scrap dealer.

Officials said that one of the shops belongs to Mohammed Ansar, the Jahangirpuri resident who has been accused of picking fights with people who were part of the Hanuman Jayanti procession, according to the police’s version of the sequence of events in the FIR. He was later booked for rioting as well.

The second suspect, Sheikh Hameed, works as a scrap dealer in the same area. Hameed was arrested on Monday.

The third person, Salim Chikna, is also the brother of Sonu (alias Yunus), who was arrested for allegedly firing a gun during the violence.

Also Read | Produce minor arrested in Jahangirpuri clash before JJB, HC orders Delhi Police

“Yunus runs a meat shop and Salim Chikna runs a scrap shop from the same lane. Several suspects immediately used the bottles as projectile to throw it at the police personnel and the other group of rioters. There were enough bottles stocked in the scrap shops there. The situation was already tense in this part of the city after two similar religious processions had passed in the area. The clashes had started at around 5.30 pm when a third religious procession was passing by the C block near Kusal cinema junction,” said one official, who asked not to be named.

Officials said the method is similar to 2014 riots in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri, which left 36 injured.

“They also supplied bottles to the other rioters within minutes. The main person who instigated the crowd, which led to a scuffle that snowballed into the clashes, is Ansar, who runs a scrap business. Their shop is in the CD Park area,” said a police officer.

Also Read | Delhi's law order under Centre,' Pawar blames BJP for violence in capital

At least eight police personnel and one local resident were injured in the communal clashes on Saturday evening. Police have arrested at least 26 and apprehended two minors in connection with the incident.

Delhi Police team in Bengal

Meanwhile, a Delhi Police crime branch team is currently in West Bengal to probe Ansar’s antecedents. The man told the police that he had been living in Jahangirpuri for 10 years and hails from Haldia in West Bengal’s East Midnapore. The police said Ansar and his family have produced Indian ID cards, which are being verified.

Amarnath K, East Midnapore district’s superintendent of police confirmed that a Delhi Police team reached Haldia.

“The police contacted us and have come here to verify his address. We are checking his records here in West Bengal. So far it does not look like he has a case here.” The crime branch team will also visit other parts of West Bengal, from where families of other arrested persons such as Sonu and Salim Chikna resided before they came to Delhi about a decade ago.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

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