Cows found dead: Residents cautious, cops work to prevent rumour mongering

Residents’ apprehensions stem from the realisation that their neighbourhood is prone to communal tensions as is evident from the past instances.
Representational image(Hindustan Times)
Representational image(Hindustan Times)
Published on May 09, 2019 03:58 AM IST
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New Delhi | ByShiv Sunny

After the news of two cows being found slaughtered near Sanjay Lake surfaced on Wednesday morning, many residents of nearby Trilokpuri were cautious in reacting to it.

Their apprehensions stem from the realisation that their neighbourhood is prone to communal tensions as is evident from the past instances.

A riot between Hindus and Muslims in 2014 had left dozens of locals injured. Since then, several skirmishes between the two communities have been reported there.

“We have seen the lives of young men from our neighbourhood getting affected after they were embroiled in legalities after the 2014 riots,” Sanjeev Singh, a shopkeeper in Trilokpuri, said.

“Our WhatsApp groups were flooded with information about the slaughtered cows, but we found much of it to be false,” Singh added.

Ehsan Khan, an elderly man in the neighbourhood, said he has instructed families in his colony not to let young men out of sight until the situation has normalised. “We understand the impact of communal clashes, but the younger generation does not,” Khan said.

While no clashes were reported from the neighbourhood on Wednesday, the police took no chances. The morning hours of Wednesday saw uniformed police personnel patrol the streets. They were replaced by personnel in plainclothes by afternoon.

“We held an area domination march in the evening to let the people know that no communalisation of the situation will be accepted. We have an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) and some station house officers (SHOs) deployed along with many police personnel to handle any eventuality,” a senior police officer said on the condition of anonymity.

The decision to replace uniformed policemen with those in mufti was taken to “prevent more rumour mongering”, another officer said.

“We are interacting with members of the aman (peace) committee (formed after the 2014 riots) and the elders of both communities to normalise the situation. If we find people talking about the incident, we are clarifying any misinformation,” the officer said.

The local beat officers have also made their way into many local WhatsApp groups to keep a tab on information being exchanged.

On Wednesday, members of the Sanathan Hindu Yuva Vahini (SHYV) camped at the spot where the cattle were
stolen from. Nand Kishore, a member of SHYV, said, “Since the cows were killed near the home of the owner but their carcass not taken away, it could be the role of someone trying to offend Hindus.”

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