A lawyer from Delhi on Monday asked the Supreme Court to form a committee to ensure an impartial inquiry into the Jahangirpuri violence, reported Bar and Bench.
Advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa said Delhi Police’s investigation was biased and communal, India Today reported.
Members of Hindu and Muslim communities clashed during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in Northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on Saturday. Eight policemen and a civilian were injured in the violence. So far, the police have arrested 21 people of whom 16 are Muslims, The Indian Express reported. Two juveniles were also apprehended in the matter.
Khalsa on Monday told the Chief Justice NV Ramana that this was the second time that communal riots had broken out in Delhi in two years.
“[...]and on both occasions, members of the minority community are being blamed,” she said. “This court even admonished [the] Delhi Police for their failure to stop [the] riots in 2020.”
The communal violence had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law in North East Delhi between February 23 and February 26, 2020. The violence claimed 53 lives and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.
The Jahangirpuri violence
In the FIR filed on the Jahangirpuri violence, the police said that four or five people started arguing with the participants of the Hanuman Jayanti procession after it stopped near a mosque. This led to both sides throwing stones. It also resulted in a stampede.
The police intervened and separated both groups but minutes later they again started throwing stones and shouting slogans. The police officer at the site then asked for more security to be deployed, who then used around 40-50 tear gas grenades to control the situation.
The police claimed that the act of throwing stones and firing led to the communal riots, according to the FIR. A scooter and a few other vehicles were set on fire by the mob. Two companies of Rapid Action Force have been deployed in and around Jahangirpuri.
Ten teams from the Crime Branch and Special Cell have been formed to investigate the violence.
A spate of clashes across India
The Jahangirpuri violence took place after similar clashes were reported across the country during Ram Navami processions on April 10. Two people had died and several others were injured in the violence that broke out in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Goa.
On the same day, clashes had broken out at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University allegedly over meat being served in a hostel mess on Ram Navami.
On April 2, communal clashes had broken out in a Muslim-dominated area of Karauli city in Rajasthan after a motorcycle rally passed through it, allegedly playing communally-charged songs, on Nav Samvatsar, the first day of the Hindu new year.