Delhi, U.P. on high alert after violence during Hanuman Jayanthi procession


6 policemen injured in clashes during Hanuman Jayanti ‘shobha yatra’ in Jahangirpuri

6 policemen injured in clashes during Hanuman Jayanti ‘shobha yatra’ in Jahangirpuri

The national capital and adjoining regions of Uttar Pradesh were put on high alert on Saturday following a confrontation between two communities in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri during a “shobha yatra” on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti.

Alleged stone throwing on a procession, which was part of the “yatra”, as it was passing by a mosque located in the C block is understood to have triggered the confrontation, which left several, including six police personnel, injured, a little after 6 p.m.

The police said ten teams had been constituted to identify and take action against those involved in the incident and two companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) had been deployed even as teams of the local police took out flag marches in the area.

According to a senior police officer, the anti-terror unit of the Delhi Police, the Special Cell, had been directed to examine whether the incident was triggered as per a pre-planned conspiracy. Police sources said multiple such processions had been taken out in the area during the day; the confrontation occurred when the third such procession began and was passing by a local mosque around 5:40 p.m.

Following the stone pelting, men from both groups were seen brandishing weapons as they challenged each other, fired ammunition in the air and also engaged in arson over the next 20 minutes as seen in videos related to the incidents which went viral.

Those involved in the violence also attacked police personnel who were dispatched to the spot as initial reports about the confrontation began trickling in around 5:30 p.m. Police said while one police official had sustained a gun injury, they also received reports about local shops having been broken into and looted.

MHA sources said Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana who assured him that the situation was under control and being monitored by senior police officials on the ground.

LG Anil Baijal condemned the incident and took stock of the situation along with Mr. Asthana. He also directed him to depute forces at all other identified sensitive areas in the city and also to ensure that the injured police personnel received adequate assistance.

“In today’s incident in NW District, the situation is under control. Adequate additional force has been deployed in Jahangirpuri & other sensitive areas. Senior officers have been asked to remain in field and closely supervise the law & order situation & undertake patrolling. Strict action will be taken against rioters” Mr. Asthana tweeted

“Citizens are requested to not to pay heed to rumours and fake news on social media” he added in a subsequent tweet.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, appealing for peace, tweeted “Spoke to Hon’ble LG. He assured that all steps are being taken to ensure peace and that guilty will not be spared.”

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, terming the incident a conspiracy to destabilise communal harmony in the city, accused the AAP Delhi government of being hand in glove with those behind the incident and blamed the violence on “Bangladeshi and Rohingya” refugees residing in the area.

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