The Delhi Minorities Commission on Saturday issued a notice to the commissioner of police after a mosque in Alipur locality of North West Delhi was allegedly attacked and burnt by miscreants, reported The Wire.
The video of the incident, which took place on Friday night in Mukhmelpur village in Alipur, was shared widely on social media.
Chairperson Zafar-ul Islam Khan said the commission received a report and video, stating that around 200 people attacked the mosque when there were two or three people inside it. The notice to the police said that the mob attacked the mosque, ransacked and burnt it partially, adding that it was “unbelievable” that such an incident could take place in the national Capital. “The issue cannot be patched up artificially by arranging a compromise where a religious place has been ransacked and partially burnt and demolished,” the commission said. “If no proper legal action is taken, this lawlessness will become common.”
Khan directed the police commissioner to ensure that a first information report in the case is filed against the accused. “Law should take its course so that a deterrent is created in the minds of people as some have started to think that they will go scot-free after committing any crime against the weaker sections of the society,” the panel added.
Police told The Wire that the mosque is situated inside a graveyard in the village and is used to offer “janaza” – a prayer before the burial of the dead in accordance with Islam. A local resident, who does not wish to be identified, told the website that a group of 15 to 20 men came to the mosque on Friday night and vandalised it. “The environment here is extremely volatile,” he added. “We have to live here only, we don’t want this to go out in the media and for outsiders to get involved, we will work out a compromise.”
He added that a rumour was spread about an alleged dispute between Hindus and Muslims in the village. “If you saw the video on YouTube, you must have seen the state of the mosque,” he said. “Whenever something like this happens, we lock our homes. At night, we heard noises of something being broken. It was in the morning that we saw that it was the mosque.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer Delhi) Gaurav Sharma said an FIR has been registered under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code against those who unlawfully congregated outside the mosque. He, however, claimed that there was no attempt to break or vandalise the mosque.
Sharma said the condition of the mosque, as seen in the videos, has been same for the past few months. “The burn that can be seen is because some local people who work in the fields sometime use this site as a kitchen,” he added.
Parts of Delhi had witnessed large-scale communal violence in February. Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposed to it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst in Delhi since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.