Old Delhi Temple Vandalism: Don’t Communalise Matter, Says Priest

Violence broke out due to an altercation between Hindus and Muslims of the area over a parking issue.

2 min read
People outside temple demanding action against the culprits.

Tension prevailed in Old Delhi’s Chawri Bazar area on Tuesday, 2 July, after a violent altercation between Hindus and Muslims over parking broke out the previous day.

After the flare up, people on social media started circulating videos claiming that a Muslim mob desecrated a Hindu temple in the vicinity. Speaking to The Quint, the priest of the temple, Anil Kumar Pandey, said that a fight broke out outside the temple, after which the temple was attacked.

“I don't know anybody’s name or face. They broke the idols of the deities and burnt the curtains of the temple. I don't want anything but that they should be punished,” Pandey added.

He further said he can’t comment on whether the incident was a communal one, but emphasised the fact that it shouldn’t be given a communal colour, saying it was ‘against humanity’.

Old Delhi Temple Vandalism:  Don’t Communalise Matter, Says Priest
(Photo: Anthony Rozario/The Quint)

‘Fight Over Parking Led to Rumour Mongering’

The Quint also spoke to another resident of the area to understand what had happened.

Dr Ishrat Tafeel, who runs a clinic in the area said, “A boy was parking outside a shop and when the owner said no to it, an argument ensued. Following this, a few other men came and beat the boy up. When he was being taken to the hospital, people found out that he was beaten and since it was between two communities, the word spread like wildfire.”

Tafeel further said that this led to stone-pelting between two groups, during which the temple was hit.

“The stones which were thrown hit the temple. But now it is being portrayed as the temple was vandalised. But this was only a rumour.”
Dr Ishrat Tafeel told The Quint

Appealing to the police and government to contain such rumours, Tafeel said that it is an internal issue and no one else has the right to spread rumours about the two communities of the area.


What Has Been the Action So Far?

Earlier, on Monday, Delhi police had assured that all efforts were being made to pacify the situation and maintain “amity”.

The police has now arrested three people in connection with the incident, according to the news agency ANI. However a group of people, resorted to sloganeering demanding the arrest of all the people involved in the incident on Tuesday.

Union Minister and Chandni Chowk MP Harsh Vardhan, visited the area on Tuesday, said that the “culprits” will be arrested and punished.

“It is very unfortunate and painful. The kind of thing done to the temple is unforgivable. I have been told that police is already in action and culprits will be arrested and punished. I appeal to the people to maintain harmony.”
Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister

AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi took to Twitter to condemn the violence and demanded action against the culprits.

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