Delhi: At Jahangirpuri, residents hope for return to normal as gates reopen | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi: At Jahangirpuri, residents hope for return to normal as gates reopen

By, New Delhi
Apr 24, 2022 03:23 AM IST

The locality has been tense since April 16, when clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups left nine people — eight police personnel and one civilian —injured. An anti-encroachment drive by the North MCD on Wednesday destroyed several structures in the area, leaving many without a source of income.

Residents of Block C in Jahangirpuri were allowed to the leave the block after a week on Saturday morning, as the police lifted some of the blockades they had put in place after communal clashes tore through the northwest Delhi locality, which also saw bulldozers take down “temporary structures” during an ‘anti-encroachment’ drive on Wednesday.

Residents of Delhi's Jahangirpuri area, who had a hard time commuting to work, as well as accessing clean drinking water and other necessities, on Saturday morning headed out for work, even as other vendors were allowed to enter the block. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Residents of Delhi's Jahangirpuri area, who had a hard time commuting to work, as well as accessing clean drinking water and other necessities, on Saturday morning headed out for work, even as other vendors were allowed to enter the block. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)

While shopkeepers and residents hoped the unlocked gates would help business, and life, return to normal, several people said they could foresee a sombre Eid, which will be celebrated in early May.

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Residents of the area, who had a hard time commuting to work, as well as accessing clean drinking water and other necessities, on Saturday morning headed out for work, even as other vendors were allowed to enter the block.

The locality has been tense since April 16, when clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups left nine people — eight police personnel and one civilian —injured. An anti-encroachment drive by the North Delhi civic body on Wednesday destroyed several structures in the area, leaving several residents without a source of income.

Nazma (48), who teaches the Quran to children in Block C, as well as blocks H and G across the road, said she went to teach at one of the houses on the other side of the street for the first time after the clashes on April 16.

“The gates were shut and the police wouldn’t let us leave. Today, when the doors opened, I went to the house and they were very happy to see me,” she said. “This has brought us some peace”.

Also Read | Delhi: At Jahangirpuri, residents left to pick up pieces amid curbs

Owners of shops in the block said the past week left a bruising impact on business.

Shaheen Khan (35) who runs a spices cart outside her residence, said customers started returning after the gates were opened.

“One of our customers said they didn’t visit the shop the whole week because they were scared that the situation would turn violent… But I made them understand that it’s not as bad and the situation is normal now,” she said.

But all was still not well, she said. “We bring in spices from Khari Baoli, but autorickshaw drivers refuse to come to Jahangirpuri now, out of fear.”

Delhi Police officers earlier said that the area had been cordoned off to maintain peace, and also because of heavy presence of the media and visits by political leaders.

Also Read | Step towards normalcy: Harmony at first Friday prayers after clashes, demolition in Delhi's Jahangirpuri

Noor Aslam, who runs a meat shop, said transporting chicken was easier on Saturday. “We had to take a longer route to get meat,” he said.

Residents, however, said Eid festivities in the area would be muted in light of the clashes and subsequent demolition action.

“We would have celebrated Eid without any Covid-19 restrictions after two whole years.,” said Nazma.

Shahnawaz, a 35-year-old meat shop owner said they usually keep 10,000 separate for “Eidi”, a tradition he will have to set aside this year.

“I have only opened the shop today. Only a few people have started coming in now. My relatives, especially married sisters and children, expect Eidi and new clothes. How will I give them anything now?” he said.

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