Old Delhi inches back to peace, shops open but police deployment continues
A day after a parking row snowballed into communal tension in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan, police removed traffic restrictions in the area as normalcy was restored. A strong police force, however, remained on Tuesday to ensure law and order.
By Tuesday morning, the police ensured that shops in the locality were open. Though there were small gatherings, no fresh incident of violence or sloganeering was reported, police said.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday visited a temple in the area which was vandalised during violence that followed after a parking row involving a Hindu and a Muslim person on Sunday night.
“I have been keeping tab on the situation and spoke to people in the locality. I have seen the vandalised temple too. I assured the residents that the police will take strict action against the culprits,” said Vardhan, who is the Lok Sabha member from the area. Rajasthan Rajya Sabha member VIjay Goel too visited the spot.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain too met people from both communities to ensure peace in the area. “I appeal to the people of the locality to maintain peace. There are individuals who are trying to communalise the event. We have to make sure that they do not succeed,” said Hussain, who is the concerned member in the legislative assembly from the area.
Meanwhile, repair works started in the temple which was vandalised by a mob. While some of the idols are yet to be replaced, the glasses, damaged lights and window panes have been fixed. It was the police which helped with the repair work, said Abhishek Pandey, son of the temple priest.
The police had registered three cases in connection with the matter – Counter FIRs with regard to the case of physical assault and another FIR with regard to the vandalism of the temple. “We have arrested two men and apprehended a minor in connection with the case of vandalism of the temple,” said DCP (central) M S Randhawa.
The previous night, a parking dispute took place between a Hindu and a Muslim man in the locality but things turned ugly when a rumour spread that the Muslim man was lynched to death. The violence that followed involved alleged vandalism of a temple in the locality by a mob and sporadic instances of stone pelting, followed by violent protests by groups from both communities the next day.
Police maintained strict vigil in the area with more than 400 officers deployed.