A minor scuffle over parking of a scooty took a communal turn as violent clashes broke out late on Sunday night in Central Delhi's Hauz Qazi area, police said on Monday.
The situation in the area remained tense as minor clashes continued even on Monday afternoon. A photographer of a Hindi daily was injured in the violence.
Mobile footage went viral on social media which showed a temple being vandalised, aggravating the situation. Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been deployed to ensure peace in the area.
दिल्ली के हौजकाजी में कल रात एक मंदिर पर पत्थर बरसायें गए और तोड़ फोड़ की गई— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) July 1, 2019
पहले पूरे इलाके में अफवाह फैलाई गई कि एक मुस्लिम लड़के की मोब लिंचिंग हुई हैं, जबरदस्ती जय श्री राम बुलवाया हैं
उसके बाद मंदिर में, थाने में जो हुआ वो आपके सामने हैं pic.twitter.com/Tak2yeBeOi
Senior police officials stated that three separate cases have been registered.
Late on Sunday night, two people belonging to different religious communities got into a fight after one of them insisted on parking his scooty outside an eatery near a temple which was opposed by the other.
Soon the argument turned communal with both sides hurling abuses and assaulting each other.
Police officials have registered one case based on the statement of the person who had come to park his bike, the other case based on the statement of the person who did not let the other man park his bike and a third case against unknown persons for rioting and damaging public property.
Mandeep Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (Central) said "After some altercation and scuffle over a parking issue in Hauz Qazi, tension arose between two groups of people from different communities. We have taken legal action and all efforts are being made to pacify feelings and bring about amity. People are requested to help in restoring normalcy."
Attack on any place of worship or worshippers is an attack on the very pluralism & diversity of our dear country.— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) July 2, 2019
This act of vandalism is highly condemnable & I demand that the culprits be prosecuted & convicted in a time-bound manner https://t.co/UREfjhhNzU
Some locals claimed that the incident occurred due to the vandalisation of the temple wall.
One of the locals stated that the incident took place at around 10 p.m., when a man identified as Aas Mohammad parked his scooty next to an eatery run by Sanjeev Gupta.
When Gupta objected and asked Mohammad to remove the vehicle, Mohammad allegedly went to a nearby street and called some people who started assaulting Gupta.
Some others stated that Gupta, along with others, thrashed Mohammad and even threatened to set his vehicle on fire.
According to a complainant named Saqib, he along with his family informed the police about the scuffle.
"Both of them were taken to the police station while during that time some unidentified people gathered outside the temple and vandalised it resulting in tension in the area," said Saqib.
Nikhil Sharma, a temple worker, claimed that a group of people came to the temple and vandalised it and fled.
Police are probing the matter further.
COMMUNITIES AGREE TO RESTORE PEACE IN HAUZ QAZI
In an attempt to restore peace in the city's Hauz Qazi area, both the communities met on Tuesday evening and decided to out an end to the tension which arose two days ago after a parking dispute snowballed into a communal clash.
Jamshed Siddiqui, who was heading the Muslim community, said: "We have spoken to each other on the issue and decided that the Aman Committee would bear the expenses to renovate the vandalised temple."
"We want peace in the area as it was earlier. We condemn the incident and the culprits, who have vandalised the temple, must be punished," he added.
Bittoo, from the Durga Mandir Street, said: "People from both the communities are living here happily since decades. The market will open from Wednesday and the locals would bring back peace in the area with mutual cooperation."
The meeting which was held at the local police station, was chaired by senior police officials in the presence of people from both the communities.
The peace meeting comes two days after the parking scuffle which led to communal tension in the area during which a local temple was also vandalised. The police have arrested three people in connection with the incident.