Jahangirpuri Violence: Amit Shah Asks Delhi Police To Take Strict Actions

New Delhi: Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, summoned Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana today to demand harsh action in the violence that erupted in Jahangirpuri, northwest Delhi, two days ago on Hanuman Jayanti.

“The Home Minister was very categorical and asked them not to make any mistake while probing the matter,” said a senior official from the Home Ministry, referring to the backdrop of communal violence that rocked the city in 2019.

A petition filed in the High Court today alleges that one of the accused is a child, putting the authorities in a tough spot.

“When he was arrested, he told police that he is 21 or 22 years old. When he was taken to doctor, he again said same thing… Now we have produced him before juvenile justice board,” an officer said off the record.

Investigations have also revealed that the Hanuman Jayanti procession during which trouble broke out on Saturday evening, was being held without permission.

Three processions were held on Saturday and trouble broke out during the third procession, for which no permission had been granted, an officer said.

“They just had submitted an application to the police station and we had not given any permission but still they took out a procession,” he added.

According to the police, the loud volume of religious chants clashed with the azaan, or Muslim call to prayers, as the procession passed by the mosque with individuals brandishing saffron flags. The two groups – those in the procession and those praying in the mosque – got into a dispute as a result of this.

“Ramzan is going on and in evening Muslims also offer prayers. They asked the group to lower the volume, but they started shouting slogans which led to the initial trouble,” said another officer.

The police have filed a complaint under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order properly promulgated by public servant), which is a bailable offence. The case has resulted in the arrest of twenty-three people, including juveniles.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said a search is on for all the accused. “23 people have been arrested. They are from both communities. Action will be taken against any person found guilty irrespective of their class, creed, community and religion,” Mr Asthana told reporters.

Many people seen participating in the clashes are missing. Three home-grown pistols and five swords have been seized from those arrested so far. “Weapons have been recovered from both groups – the ones who were carrying out procession and the ones who were opposing it too,” said a senior police officer.

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