A bike rally to mark Hanuman Jayanti on April 1 led to incidents of hooliganism outside four mosques in East Delhi, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. Members of the procession allegedly brandished swords, threw colour, burst firecrackers and installed saffron flags near the mosques. A video of the incidents has gone viral on social media.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Anand Vihar councillor Gunjan Gupta flagged off the rally, Prachin Hanuman Mandir, from Madhu Vihar. She has been named in a police complaint following the incidents, but claimed that there was nothing wrong with what happened.
“There was no violence at the rally as the organisation conducting it is a disciplined outfit,” she said. “It was a religious sentiment just like it happens during Muharram.” Mandawali area councillor Shashi Chandana has also been named in the police complaint along with Gupta, for allegedly inciting the crowd.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said the rally was organised by the Akhand Bharat Morcha after getting permission from the police. “Some elements from the groups were involved in certain incidents regarding the mosques,” he said. “Videos were also made of the incident. The local cleric from Mandawali registered a complaint at Madhu Vihar police station, but they have also communicated that they do not want to pursue the matter.”
The complaint, filed by the imam of the Fazle Ilahi Masjid, said that apart from bursting firecrackers and installing saffron flags near the mosques, the crowd also chanted, “If you want to live in India, you must say Vande Mataram,” in Hindi.
The rally also stopped at the Madni Masjid, Mohammadi Masjid and the Jama Masjid. Unidentified eyewitnesses claimed the procession deliberately stopped at mosques on the way.
However, some youths who participated in the rally claimed they were throwing only flower petals, and that some of the participants were assaulted.