10 days after clashes over parking, Muslims help install new idols at Lal Kuan temple
Communal tensions that erupted from a parking dispute in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan area near Chawri Bazaar 10 days ago melted away Tuesday with Hindus and Muslims coming together to participate in a shobha yatra (religious procession), marking the purification of the temple and installation of new idols.
Muslims and members of aman (peace) committee were seen sitting with Hindus on chariots and serving food to the participants on the 2km procession route, which started from Hauz Qazi Chowk and culminated outside the lane in Lal Kuan where the temple is situated.
The rituals of purifying the temple and placing new idols and the procession were held amid tight security. More than 1,500 Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in the area to keep a watch.
“We used two drone cameras to keep a vigil. Around 150 police personnel armed with long range weapons were placed on rooftops. Everything went off peacefully,” deputy commissioner of police (central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said.
Delhi MPs Manoj Tiwari and Hans Raj Hans and members of Hindutva groups were among the 5,000 people who participated in the procession.
The rituals started around 10am Tuesday with the priest of the Durga Mandir in Lal Kuan leading the ceremonies, followed by the procession around 11am.
“We helped our Hindu brothers and sisters successfully take part in the procession. We have been helping them since morning,” Abdul Baqir (55), Lal Kuan RWA president, said.
On the night of June 30, a fight over parking a scooter triggered communal tensions at Lal Kuan after Hindus and Muslims allegedly clashed with each other.