Delhi: Argument Over Parking Space Turns Into Communal Clash, Temple Vandalized
On Sunday night, tensions flared up in the Hauz Qazi area of central Delhi when an altercation over parking space spiralled into a communal clash. Consequently, several shops in the adjacent areas of Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar remained shut on Monday. The police put up barricades at several locations and are trying to diffuse the situation.
After some altercation &scuffle over a parking issue in Hauz Qazi, tension arose b/w two groups of people from different communities.We have taken legal action & all efforts are being made to pacify feelings &bring about amity. People are requested to help in restoring normalcy.
— DCP Central Delhi (@DCPCentralDelhi) July 1, 2019
Reportedly, on Sunday night, a man identified as Aas Mohammed parked his two-wheeler outside one Sanjeev Gupta’s house. According to a senior police officer’s statement to The Indian Express, “Gupta, who was sitting inside his house, asked him not to park the scooter, saying he parked his cart there. An argument ensued and Gupta came out of his house. According to eyewitnesses, some locals beat up Aas Mohammed, but he ran away and returned with his associates.”
At around midnight, someone informed the police of the ensuing scuffle. Upon arrival, the police diffused the situation and took people from both sides to the Hauz Qazi Police Station.
Meanwhile, a rumour spread that a man died in the scuffle. Later, more than 350 people gathered outside the Police Station. A few others went to Sanjeev Gupta’s house and allegedly vandalized a nearby temple.
This flared up the tensions between the communities. The police deployed more than 600 personnel, including paramilitary forces to prevent escalations.
Divergent Narratives, 3 Cases Registered
People from both groups reported different narratives of the incident. Sanjeev Gupta’s wife and a few eyewitnesses said that when he objected to the parking of the scooter, Aas Mohammed left and promptly returned with a few men who beat up Gupta.
While other eyewitnesses from the locality said that Mohammed was first beaten up by Gupta and some unidentified person.
An eyewitness said in his statement that when the police took Mohammed and Gupta, some unknown people gathered outside a nearby temple on the Durga Mandir street and vandalized it.
The police have registered three cases. One based on Mohammed’s statement, one on Gupta’s statement, and one against the unknown people for rioting and vandalizing the temple.
Meanwhile, the shopkeepers and others concerned called for peace, as the rioting hit local businesses and disrupted the peace and amity in the area.
Mufti Mukarram’s appeal to Muslims to restore the mandir in Hauz Qazi, Old Delhihttps://t.co/BIgUJsTgZv
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) July 1, 2019