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After day-long political showdown, Jahangirpuri locals declare restoration of peace


It was a tense day for the residents of Jahangirpuri. At Kushal Chowk, along the devastated juice centre, personnel of the Delhi Police and the paramilitary forces remained on their toes. Drones flew overhead to keep a close eye on the neighbourhood which witnessed communal tensions and faced the demolition drive of North Delhi’s civic body in the past week.

This was the first Friday of Ramzan after the Hanuman Jayanti riots in Jahangirpuri. The local Muslim residents asked their children to stay home. Efforts have been made to ensure nothing untoward unfolds during the Friday prayers.

Sensing the situation, the Delhi Police’s senior officials visited the Jahangirpuri mosque. Outside the police barricades, delegations of different political parties, including the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI), tried to meet the local residents who had faced communal violence and the bulldozers.

However, by evening, the tables turned. The local residents – from both the Hindu and the Muslim communities – stepped out of the barricades and announced the restoration of peace in the neighbourhood.

Also Read: | Jahangirpuri violence: Strict action will be taken against rioters: Delhi Police Commissioner

COMMUNAL CLASHES SHOOK US

Shahrukh Sheikh, a 23-year-old resident of Jahangirpuri’s riot-hit neighbourhood, runs a construction business.

“In the past week, we witnessed the worst turn of events. People from both communities committed blunders. Due to this, the neighbourhood has earned a bad name. It is impacting our businesses. Our clients are not ready to visit us in Jahangirpuri. A couple of them also disassociated from us,” Sheikh told India Today TV.

Asked about the relations between the neighbours, he said, “We don’t know who perpetrated the violence. But relations between neighbours have improved. There is no problem between us at all.”

Tabrez Khan

Notably, Sheikh and his father had no clue about the Aman Committee meeting held to restore peace in the area on Friday evening. They had just returned from Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh.

As per the man and his father, the relations between the Hindus and Muslims didn’t sink despite the communal clashes during the Hanuman Jayanti Shobha Yatra. They were facing problems due to heavy security deployment in the area which created hindrances, in shopping for Iftaar and the upcoming Eid festivities.

Also Read: | SC orders status quo in Jahangirpuri anti-encroachment drive, halts bulldozers

Sheikh, with a smile on his face, added, “Communal clashes are not going to change my relations with my neighbours and friends. I would still invite my Hindu friends to Iftaar. I have friends from different castes of the Hindu community and they will be invited to the Eid festivities like any other year.”

Rajesh Mishra, who runs a pet accessory shop in the neighbourhood, said that locals suffered heavy losses due to the clashes but the biggest casualty was the brotherhood.

“The biggest loss was to our brotherhood. People from both communities have started to look at each other with distrust. They were disgruntled. But things have changed in the past week. Our neighbourhood is healing. The Delhi Police ensured that the violence didn’t snowball. And now locals are working to restore normalcy in the area,” Mishra told India Today TV.

Senior citizens from the communities underlined the need to forget the violence and work towards restoration of peace and trust.

Also Read: | Politics erupts over bulldozer drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, Opposition slams BJP

The Aman Committee members held a presser this evening in the presence of Delhi Police’s DCP (northwest) Usha Rangnani.

“We were shaken by the April 16 communal violence. We spoke to every household in Jahangirpuri and appealed to them to maintain peace,” Tabrez Khan, the representative of the Muslim community, said.

“Hindus and Muslims live side by side in Jahangirpuri. That brotherhood is still there. I assure you that whatever differences are there between the communities will end right here, today,” Khan said, addressing the members of the two communities.

Indramani Tiwari, the president of the residents’ association representing the Hindu community, echoed Khan’s sentiments.

“We have been living together for the past 30-40 years. We will douse the fire together. We don’t need netas here,” Tiwari said, adding, “When Tazias happen, Hindus will welcome it. And I would request our Muslim brothers that they can shower flowers on our processions.”

Usha Rangnani urged the locals “to maintain peaceful coexistence”.

The locals appealed to the Delhi Police to allow them to open shops, reduce the police deployment and let normalcy return.

Notably, the Hindu and Muslim communities of Jahangirpuri have decided to take out a Tiranga Yatra on Sunday to send the message that all is peaceful in the area.



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