14 arrested, nine injured after violence in Delhi's Jahangirpuri

Jahangirpuri violence: The clashes broke out 5.30 pm Saturday and each community has blamed the other for instigating it.
New Delhi: Security personnel stand guard after clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, at Jahangirpuri in New Delhi, Sunday, April 17, 2022. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)(PTI04_17_2022_000017A)(PTI)
New Delhi: Security personnel stand guard after clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, at Jahangirpuri in New Delhi, Sunday, April 17, 2022. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)(PTI04_17_2022_000017A)(PTI)
Updated on Apr 17, 2022 11:26 AM IST
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Fourteen people have been arrested so far in connection with violence in Delhi's Jahangirpuri area on Saturday evening, according to a senior police officer. Deputy commissioner of Delhi Police (north west) Usha Rangnani first said nine people were  arrested and nine others injured in clashes between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. An hour later the police confirmed five others had also been taken into custody, and said one of the accused - who had fired a pistol - had also been arrested. The pistol used in the commission of the crime was recovered from his possession, police added.

Violence erupted as a Hanuman Jayanti procession was passing through Jahangirpuri, which is in the northwest part of the national capital.

READ: Jahangirpuri clash - Delhi BJP cries' conspiracy' | 10 points

The clashes broke out around 5.30 pm Saturday and each community has since blamed the other. The sequence of events was then muddled further after videos circulating on social media suggested various versions and events.

Hindustan Times could not independently verify the videos.

Residents said clashes broke out primarily in three blocks of Jahangirpuri with residents from the Hindu-dominated G and H blocks on one side and those from the Muslim-dominated C block on the other.

Residents of both sides said 'outsiders' were involved.

Mastan, a resident of C block, said processions had been going on since 1.30 pm but they were peaceful. However, one that passed at 5.30 pm incited violence.

"The group, all outsiders I believe, were raising slogans derogatory to our community. They said we’ll have to chant 'Ram Ram' if we stay in India… then a few men entered C block mosque and began to hoist saffron flags..."

"That’s when we lost our cool and pulled him down," he said.

Residents of G and H blocks, meanwhile, blamed Muslims. "Stone pelting started from the roof of the mosque. It was a planned attack. They had swords, country-made pistols, stones and bricks..." Sumit Kumar, a resident, said.

READ: Nerves frayed in Delhi's Jahangirpuri after clashes over Hanuman Jayanti procession 

Following the clashes heavy police deployment took place and the area remains heavily guarded this morning as well. 

Police have said the area is tense but the situation is under control, and have urged people not to believe or spread rumours. "Strict action will be taken against rioters," commissioner Rakesh Asthana tweeted last night.

Union home minister Amit Shah has spoken to Asthana and senior Delhi Police officials and asked them to maintain law and order. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the people to maintain peace.

READ: BJP MP Gautam Gambhir condemns Jahangirpuri violence

Police in nearby Gautam Budh Nagar, which is part of UP's Noida, were on high alert as well and carried out intensive patrolling and flag marches.

The clashes came hours after 13 opposition leaders signed a statement expressing concern over communal violence in the country. 

READ: Oppn leaders issue joint appeal on hate speech, communal violence

The 13, who included Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and the chief ministers of Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand, said cultural issues were 'being deliberately used by the ruling establishment to polarise society'.

The BJP hit back through union minister Anurag Thakur, who accused the Congress and the other opposition parties of 'sowing the seed of hatred'.

With input from ANI

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