From 2022’s Jahangirpuri to Sadar Bazar in 1974, a historical past of communal clashes within the Capital


The Jahangirpuri clashes are a stark reminder that Delhi has witnessed a number of incidents of large-scale sectarian violence. The Capital noticed the worst in 2020 when individuals clashed in Northeast Delhi, resulting in the deaths of 53 individuals and unprecedented destruction of public property

On Saturday night, Delhi as soon as once more noticed communal violence — harking back to the 2020 riots which shook the Capital.

A conflict broke out between two communities throughout a Hanuman Jayanti procession in northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri space on Saturday night. In keeping with the police, stones had been pelted and a few autos torched within the violence that occurred round 6 pm.

For the reason that clashes occurred, the authorities have arrested 21 individuals together with the “foremost conspirators” behind the clashes and one other one who allegedly fired a bullet that hit a sub-inspector. The police, has in keeping with the PTI information report, additionally apprehended two juveniles in reference to the incident.

The police added that there was stone-pelting and arson through the clashes that left eight police personnel and a neighborhood injured. Some autos had been additionally torched.

Sub-Inspector Medhalal, who sustained a bullet damage within the clashes, mentioned the police had initially pacified the scenario however a bunch from C-Block began pelting stones and fired on the safety personnel.

The 50-year-old police sub-inspector, posted on the Jahangirpuri Police Station, recalling the night of violence, mentioned he was strolling with the ‘Shobha Yatra’ within the space on the event of Hanuman Jayanti on Saturday.

He mentioned when the procession reached C-Block, a few of these standing close to a mosque received into an argument with the individuals of the procession over alleged sloganeering by the latter.

The argument, in keeping with the cop, turned violent and stones had been pelted from each side. “Whereas these a part of the procession had been despatched away in direction of G-Block, these standing close to the mosque had been requested to remain put at C-Block. However these standing at C-Block began pelting stones and got here out with lathis of their fingers.”

Additionally learn: Ram Navami to Hanuman Jayanti: Right here’s why Hindu festivals face wave of assaults

Historical past of riots

This isn’t the primary time that the Capital or the nation has witnessed communal riots. As per knowledge offered by the Ministry of Residence Affairs, there have been as many as 3,399 instances of communal or spiritual rioting within the nation within the 5 yr interval from 2016 to 2020.

The information was offered by Union Minister of State Nityanand Rai within the Lok Sabha in response to a query by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and BJP MP Chandra Prakash Joshi.

The information confirmed that in 2016 there have been 869 cases of spiritual violence; that quantity decreased the subsequent yr to 723. In 2018, there have been 512 instances of communal riots and in 2019 there have been 438 such instances. And in 2020, there have been 857 spiritual riots.

Delhi riots From 2022s Jahangirpuri to Sadar Bazar in 1974 a history of communal clashes in the Capital

Residents take a look at burnt-out autos following riots over at Shiv Vihar space in New Delhi in 2020. AFP

Communal riots from the Delhi perspective

Political scientists Ashutosh Varshney and Steven Wilkinson, as per a report revealed by The Print, reported that Delhi had misplaced 93 lives in Hindu-Muslim communal riots between 1950 and 1995.

These numbers do not embrace the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, as they classify that as an easy pogrom.

In 1974, hassle erupted in Delhi within the locality of Sadar Bazar. The violence was triggered by a quarrel between two Muslim youths and a Hindu boy. The small argument quickly degenerated right into a Hindu-Muslim confrontation. Arson, heavy brick-batting, and weapons firing occurred.

The police had been focused by rioters, and had been unable to take care of management of the scenario. On the finish of the riot, 11 individuals had been killed — eight Hindus, two Muslims, one Sikh and the world remained below curfew for 44 days.

Following the ’74 violence, one other incident shook the conscience of Delhi residents in 1987. Rumours of a communal bloodbath in Meerut-Maliana in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh led to an outbreak of violence in Delhi’s Hauz Khas space. An imam of a mosque was murdered in Hauz Khas and this led to an outbreak of riots, which noticed 15 killed — 12 had been shot lifeless by the police.

The demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, noticed riots in a number of components of India. Violence additionally broke out in Seelampur and Jaffrabad following a hearsay {that a} native mosque had additionally been attacked. About 20 individuals had been killed.

The Capital noticed relative peace within the mid-Nineties and early 2000s. However, in 2014, an argument as a consequence of loudspeakers throughout a Mata ki Chowki occasion (devoted to Goddess Durga) organised close to a mosque in Trilokpuri space on Diwali evening led to violent clashes wherein retailers and autos had been burnt and several other individuals had been injured. Nonetheless, well timed intervention from the police saved lives and nobody died within the riots.

It was after the Trilokpuri riots, the Delhi Police fashioned Aman committees comprising of aged members and spiritual preachers throughout communities to work as police’s troubleshooters and assist defuse tensions.

Delhi noticed the worst in February 2020 when 53 individuals had been killed and greater than 200 others had been injured. A Delhi court docket even described the riots as ‘worst communal riots since Partition’.

The riots broke out owing to clashes between professional and anti-Citizenship Modification Act protesters in Jafrabad and unfold throughout northeast Delhi over the subsequent 4 days. Retailers and homes had been burnt down and even locations of worship had been attacked.

A report by the Enterprise Commonplace mentioned that on 23 February, the day of the riot, BJP chief Kapil Mishra had given an “ultimatum” to the police to take away anti-CAA protests blocking roads within the space.

Inside hours of Mishra’s speech, clashes broke out between anti- and pro-CAA demonstrators in Karawal Nagar, Maujpur Chowk, Babarpur and Chand Bagh. Police lathi-charged and used tear gasoline to disperse the group.

The next afternoon, violent clashes broke out in a number of areas of Northeast Delhi, together with within the Gokalpuri and Kardampuri areas. Clashes had been marked by arson, vandalism of property, stone pelting and burning of locations of worship. Whereas attempting to regulate the protesters, Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal suffered a bullet damage and misplaced his life.

After days of violence, on February 29, the riots ended within the nationwide capital.

The Delhi Police’s dealing with of the riots was questioned, nonetheless, a Delhi court docket had noticed that metropolis police had carried out its work with utmost integrity and the investigation hadn’t carried out on communal traces.

The Delhi Excessive Courtroom additionally famous that the Delhi riots had been deliberate and calculated to trigger disruptions and weren’t triggered by any incident.

“The February 2020 riots had been a conspiracy, deliberate and executed. They evidently didn’t happen in a spur of the second,” the Delhi Excessive Courtroom was quoted as saying, in keeping with an NDTV report.

The court docket added, “The systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras additionally confirms the existence of a pre-planned and pre-meditated conspiracy to disturb regulation and order within the metropolis. That is additionally evident from the truth that innumerable rioters ruthlessly descended with sticks, dandas, bats and so on upon a hopelessly outnumbered cohort of police officers.”

With inputs from businesses

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