Clashes during cricket match leads to rioting in Delhi’s Trilokpuri, 7 arrested
Locals, cops among eight injured; additional forces rushed to east Delhi area known for violent clashes in the past.Updated: Jul 21, 2018 08:05 IST
Two groups attacked each other with stones and molotov cocktails in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri on Thursday night after an argument during a cricket match turned ugly and led to riots in the area.
The tension in the area escalated to a such a level that the police had to resort to using tear gas shells to disperse the rioters. Four residents of the area and four policemen sustained injuries in the clash, with seven men later being arrested on the charges of rioting and instigating violence. Additional police forces remained deployed in the area.
Deputy commissioner of police (east) Pankaj Kumar Singh said that it is yet to be verified if the clash was communal or not. “We have arrested people from both the communities and they are being questioned to identify their roles in the violence,” he said.
This is the second time this year when Trilokpuri has witnessed group violence. In February, tension simmered in the area after two groups clashed over rumours that a man from a Dalit community had been beaten to death. Earlier in 2016, a group of men had clashed among themselves in Trilokpuri after which a case of rioting had been registered. Two years before this, in 2014, at least 30 people, including 13 policemen, were injured following clashes between Hindus and Muslims .
Locals said Thursday’s incident took place around 9.30pm when one Shoaib Mohammad, 18, a roadside vendor who lives in Block 20 of Trilokpuri, was crossing a park where a group of men were playing cricket.
“As Shoaib walked past the men, he happened to have a verbal spat with one of them in the park. This sparked a scuffle between Shoaib and the other men. As the argument took place barely 10 metres from Shoaib’s house, his neighbours immediately rushed to the park and the men left.
“They, however, returned 10-15 minutes later and started hurling bricks, stones, bottles and molotov cocktails at us,” said Shabnam, Shoaib’s elder sister.
Mohammad Talib, a student who lives next to Shoaib’s house, said “They vandalised three vehicles kept here. Many people sustained injuries. Four of them had to be rushed to a hospital.”
Police said that no one sustained fatal injuries in the violence. A case has been registered, said DCP Singh.
The officer added that as soon as police received information, a number of teams were rushed to the area. “Police had to use tear gas to disperse the mob. The arrested men have been identified as Sohaib Mohammad and his elder brothers Noor Mohammad and Rashid, Rahul Sharma, Ankit, Lalit and one Shoib,” Singh said. Efforts to identify others are on,” the DCP said.
Family members of Shoaib, Rashid and Noor Mohammad, who gheraoed the Mayur Vihar police station in the night alleged that the cops lathicharged them. “We had gone to register a complaint that our brother Shoaib was thrashed by the other group. The police instead used force against us,” said Noor Mohammad, who was arrested later in the evening. DCP Singh, however, denied the allegations.