Mufti Mukarram Sahab, the Shahi Imam of Old Delhi’s Fatehpuri mosque, has condemned the acts of violence that led to the vandalisation of a temple in the city’s Chawri Bazar area on the night between June 30 and July 1. A quarrel over parking on the evening of June 30 led to an altercation, with some unknown persons vandalising a temple later in the night.

In his appeal to maintain calm, Mukarram said that the acts of violence are condemnable. “We should not play politics over such issues,” he said. “The guilty should be punished. Although the details on who damaged the temple property will be revealed after proper inquiry, I urge the Muslims and the members of the Residents’ Welfare Association of the area to come forward and make up for the losses incurred.”

Mukarram also recalled incidents of violence that had taken place during Bharatiya Janata Party’s veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani’s “rath yatra” in 1990. He said that despite the mosque being pelted with stones at that time, violence was contained through talks. The Shahi Imam suggested that people from different communities should talk their differences out.