Saffron flags mark Hindu homes, shops in north-east Delhi
As riots ravage parts of north-east Delhi , residents in and around Bhajanpura, Gautam Puri and parts of Maujpur are painting saffron marks on their outer walls and main doors and putting up saffron flags in balconies and rooftops to identify as Hindus.
“Every Hindu house and shop here has a saffron marking as protection against the rioters. Though this is Hindu-dominated area, there are a few shops owned by Muslims. All of these have been burnt and damaged. People, including neighbours, are looting items from these shops,” a resident of Bhajanpura said on condition of anonymity.
It isn’t clear when the flags were put up.
“There are saffron flags put up on lane numbers eight, nine and ten (of Gautam Puri). There is no tension here yet but these could be a way of residents to protect themselves,” said Idrees, a resident of the colony who gave only one name.
He said that these flags were put up on Saturday, a day before violence broke out in the neighbouring areas.
All the flags look alike, said a resident of Maujpur, suggesting that this could mean some level of organisation.
“We are not sure if people have put up these flags on their own or if any group has put these up in the houses that they have identified. But all these flags look alike, with a similar pattern, colour and design,” said Prithvi Singh, a resident of Maujpur.
One resident of Gautam Puri, a shop owner, said the flags “were put up during the elections. It has nothing to do with the violence.” This person asked not to be named.
Still, it is a fact that many houses in Maujpur and Gautam Puri do have flags, as verified by HT’s reporters. It is also a fact that many shops in Maujpur damaged in the rioting belonged to Muslims.
“I owned a tailoring shop in Maujpur. A group of 10-15 people entered my shop on Monday evening with iron rods and sticks, broke all windows, threw the machines out and looted the cloth. The board of my shop was damaged and they poured acid over it,” said Mohammad Azhar, a shop owner in Maujpur.
Many residents of Bhajanpura and New Seelampur said that the groups that have been rioting in these areas were not locals, but brought in on trucks from outside only to instigate violence. Residents also said that they saw trucks with bricks and stones being unloaded near Yamuna Vihar main road.
“Yesterday (Monday) evening I saw at least 10 trucks being parked in the service lane here carrying young men. All of these people had backpacks with them. Now who knows what they were carrying?,” said Om Vir, a businessman in Bhajanpura.
A group of residents in New Seelampur also said that those who were walking around the lanes with stones and guns were outsiders.
“We have lived here all our lives and recognise people who are locals and who are not,” a resident said on the condition of anonymity.
Photocopies of the solved question paper of the leaked Himachal Pradesh Police constable recruitment examination were delivered to candidates residing in Mandi, Kullu, Solan and Bilaspur around three-four days before the screening test. One of the main accused in the paper leak case, Manoj Thakur of Mandi, said the photocopies reached the candidates who had paid for the question paper on March 23 and 24. The mastermind of the paper leak is still at large.
Himachal Pradesh has imported 240 Merino sheep for the genetic improvement of indigenous species under its ₹8.5-crore community-based structured breeding programme, animal husbandry minister Virender Kanwar said on Sunday. A total of 1,482 metric tonnes of wool was produced in the state last year. The state has 7, 91,345 sheep which produce coarse carpet-quality wool. Himachal is the sixth largest producer of wool in the country, contributing 4% of the total production.
A six-year-old boy died after falling into a 100-foot-deep borewell at Khyala Bulanda village here on Sunday. Son of a migrant labourer, Rithik Roshan, fell into the borewell around 9 am and was taken out at 6.30pm. Rithik's death is a is a stark reminder of a similar shocking incident two years ago in Sangrur district where two-year-old Fatehvir Singh had died after he fell into a 150-foot-deep abandoned borewell.
No immediate measures have been initiated by the authorities to check the stinking brackish blushing water flowing from the Harike barrage near here into Rajasthan and Ferozepur feeder canals even after over a decade of the polluted water making its way to agricultural fields and homes, resulting in crop losses and health problems among residents of Punjab and adjoining Rajasthan that receive the water supplied by it.
A truck driver was allegedly beaten to death by three youths on Sunday after the victim, Inder Harpal Singh of Patiala's vehicle grazed their car in Faridkot city. SHO Sandeep Singh said that the investigation has found that the victim, Inder Harpal Singh of Patiala, was beaten to death by the accused after a small accident at 9:30 pm on Sunday when he was on his way to Faridkot city from Sangrur to deliver packages.