Neighbours are harmonious, rioters are outsiders: activists

Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 07:59 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | New Delhi

Shobha, a 49-year-old resident of Ghonda in North East Delhi, told mid-day over the phone that she visited the riot-hit Jaffrabad and Maujpur areas where Hindu-Muslim camaraderie was on display

A bridegroom along with relatives walk past Bhagirathi Vihar area of the North East district, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Pics/PTI/AFP
A bridegroom along with relatives walk past Bhagirathi Vihar area of the North East district, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Pics/PTI/AFP

As Delhi continued to burn on the fourth day, two activists told mid-day on Wednesday that outsiders brought by BJP leader Kapil Mishra wreaked havoc in North East district, while the locals, irrespective of their religion, looked out for each other. Twenty-five people have been killed and close to 200 injured in the past three days.

Shobha, a 49-year-old resident of Ghonda in North East Delhi, told mid-day over the phone that she visited the riot-hit Jaffrabad and Maujpur areas where Hindu-Muslim camaraderie was on display.

"Neighbours are not fighting with each other, outsiders are rioting there. There is a mosque near my house and Hindus and Muslims live in harmony in the locality there. Until Sunday, not a single incident of violence was reported. Un logon mein bhaichaara hai. For the sake of harmony in the neighbourhood, both Hindus and Muslims have decided to not allow outsiders in their area. They are looking out for each other," said Shobha, a member of Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan.

Blaming Mishra for stoking violence in North East Delhi, Shobha said, "The Delhi police, who are under the home ministry, should have picked him up immediately for his incendiary speech. He made similar provocative speeches during the Delhi polls," she said. Shobha added the rioters have now left the main roads and are wreaking havoc in the narrow lanes. Advocate Poonam Kaushik, who works with Shobha, had accompanied her to the district on Sunday. She said that the people who were staging a sit-in against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Jaffrabad were protesting peacefully and the people were helping and protecting each other. She added that the protesters hadn't blocked the road that day, but it was Mishra who had obstructed the traffic movement.

"Why was he allowed to do so? There is a kind of state-sponsored targeted violence against Muslims in these areas. The police are not reaching on time to save people. Several people called me frantically from Vijay Park in Bhajanpura, saying that armed goons have surrounded the houses and the police are not coming for rescue," said Kaushik. He added, "The police lathi-charged women who had been protesting against the CAA for over 40 days. This happened even today at Khureji Khas. Today, police at Jagat Puri insulted and pushed away lawyers who had gone there to help people. The Delhi police are replicating the Gujarat model in Delhi."

They also met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to talk about the failure of the AAP government in containing the violence. "The Delhi government must visit the affected areas immediately. Delhi is burning and the ministers have not even been to the riot-hit regions. Yesterday, we requested him [Kejriwal] to pay a visit to the North East district, but he was unresponsive."

mid-day emailed Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik for a comment on the prevailing situation in the capital, but he didn't respond.

25
No. of people killed in Delhi in 3 days

'Chilling reminder of Gujarat riots'

Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) leader
'Violence in Delhi is a chilling reminder of the communal genocide in Gujarat in 2002 when the current prime minister was the state chief minister'

Sonia Gandhi, Congress president
'The CWC is of the firm opinion that what has happened in Delhi is a colossal failure of duty for which the entire responsibility must be borne by the Centre and particularly the Home Minister, and (the CWC) calls upon the HM to tender his resignation immediately'

Ajit Doval, NSA
'Everyone is safe here. A few criminals do things like this and people are trying to isolate them. Police is here and doing their work. The situation is under control and people are satisfied. We have confidence in law enforcement agencies'

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