Tension erupted again in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on Monday as stones were thrown at the police team investigating the communal violence that broke out in the area during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, ANI reported.
“A video was being circulated on April 17 on social media showing a man [in blue kurta] opening fire during riot in Jahangirpuri area on April 16,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West Delhi) Usha Rangnani told the news agency. “Police team had gone to his house in CD Park road in his search and for examination of his family members.”
The family members of the man hurled stones at the personnel in retaliation, Rangnani added.
“Legal action is being taken,” Rangnani said, according to PTI. “One person is detained. The situation is completely under control.”
Minutes later, the Delhi Police said that it was a “one-off” incident.
Man who opened fire and a VHP member arrested
On Monday evening, the Delhi Police arrested 28-year-old Sonu alias Imam alias Yunus, who had allegedly opened fire during the April 16 violence, reported ANI.
“A video was being circulated on social media platforms on Sunday, showing a man in a blue shirt opening fire during the riots in Jahangirpuri,” Rangnani said. “He has been nabbed by the special staff of northwest district [police].”
The police have also arrested Prem Sharma, a district-level leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, in connection to the violence, PTI reported, citing Rangnani.
The Delhi Police have registered a first information report against members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal for taking out a religious procession in Jahangirpuri on April 16 without permission.
Sharma was arrested in relation to this case under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, Rangnani said, according to PTI.
The deputy commissioner of police also said that the Delhi Police had organised an aman committee meeting on Monday at the Jahangirpuri police station and urged locals to maintain peace in the area, PTI reported.
“All members were asked to appeal to their respective communities and the public in their area to maintain peace and harmony,” she said. “They were also requested not to let any rumour or misinformation spread and in case they come across any such activities or mischievous acts, then to immediately report the same to police.”
Earlier on Monday, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said that 23 people from both Hindu and Muslim communities have been arrested in connection with the Saturday violence.
At a press conference, he said that the inquiry has been handed over to the Crime Branch and 14 teams have been formed to pursue the case.
He also appealed to ignore rumours being spread on social media, ANI reported.
“Some people are trying to disturb peace through social media posts,” Asthana added. “We are monitoring social media closely, and legal action will be taken against those who are found spreading misinformation.”
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Monday directed that one of the juveniles accused in the case be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, the Live Law reported.
The juvenile was sent to a one-day police custody on Sunday.
In an first information report filed in the Jahangirpuri police station, the police said that four or five people started arguing with the participants of the procession after it stopped near a mosque. This led to both sides throwing stones that caused a stampede.
The FIR said that 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.
By Sunday morning, the police had arrested 14 Muslim men. Later on Sunday evening, the police arrested six more people, mostly Hindus.
But the locals of Jahangirpuri believe that the police action during the violence was “partisan”. A Muslim man told Scroll.in on the condition of anonymity that the police were “mute spectators” to clashes.