Tensions Flare up, Temple Vandalised in Old Delhi’s Hauz Qazi Area
A fight over a parking issue led to the purported vandalism of a religious place near Chandni Chowk on Sunday.
Tension prevailed in Old Delhi's Chawri Bazar area on Tuesday, 2 July, after a fight over parking of a scooter took a communal turn on Monday. Following the argument, a temple in the locality was vandalised, police told news agency PTI.
Union Minister and Chandni Chowk MP Harsh Vardhan, who 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
The trouble began on Sunday, when Aas Mohammad (20) was parking his scooter outside a building. Sanjeev Gupta, a resident of the building, who runs an eatery stall there, objected to it, witnesses said.
Gupta's wife Babita said when her husband objected to parking the vehicle near the stall, Mohammad left, but returned promptly with more men who were "probably drunk" and beat him up.
BETWEEN THE LINES
Saqib, a 27-year-old software engineer and a local, narrated a different version.
"When Mohammad was beaten up, he and his other family members went to police station and filed a case," he said.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
Senior police officials stated that three separate cases have been registered.
Police have registered one case based on the statement of the person who had come to park his bike, the other case based on the statement of the person who did not let the other man park his bike and the third case against unknown persons for rioting and damaging public property, they said.
When Mohammad parked his scooter, Gupta asked him to move the vehicle somewhere else or he will set it on fire. Thereafter, a quarrel erupted and Gupta, along with some other person, pulled Mohammad inside the building and beat him up," said Aqib Hassan (25), who lives in the locality.
Meanwhile, the locals called the Police Control Room and both Mohammad and Gupta were taken to the police station.
“When Mohammad and Gupta were at the police station, some unknown people gathered outside the temple and vandalised it. This led to tension in the area,” Saqib claimed.
The temple is located on the Durga Mandir Street, just across the street where the incident occurred.
Anil Kumar Pandey, the priest of the temple said, "A mob came to the temple last night at around 12 am. They vandalised the temple and left the place".
On Monday, signs of vandalism were seen – the shutter of the temple damaged and the idols defaced slightly.
During the day, the two sides also raised counter slogans that added to the tensions. The police had ramped up security to ensure law and order.
Senior police officials and paramilitary personnel were at the spot to ensure peace.
(Edited for clarity)
(Published in arrangement with PTI)
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