Home Lead Story Jahangirpuri violence: Tensions remain high following arrest of Muslim men

Jahangirpuri violence: Tensions remain high following arrest of Muslim men

A scooter destroyed in the Jahangirpuri violence on Saturday. | Photo: India Today

There is anger among Muslims who said they are being wrongly accused of starting the violence.

Nikita Jain | TwoCircles.net

NEW DELHI — Situation remained tense in northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area following communal clashes in the area in which nine people, including police personnel and one civilian, have been injured. A curfew has been imposed in the area with heavy police deployment. Residents were not allowed to move in and out. 

As per reports, police have arrested twenty-four accused so far—all Muslim. The case is investigated by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, an official said today.  

On Sunday, members of right-wing groups chanted slogans like “Jai Shri Ram” and “Pakistan Jao (Go to Pakistan)” in front of the women who had assembled outside the Jahangirpuri police station to enquire about their family members who were earlier picked up by the police. 

Women assembled outside the police station demanding the release of their family members. | Photo by author

Noor (name changed) had been sitting outside the same police station since morning. Her husband Zaheer was picked up by the police Saturday night. 

“My husband was picked up from outside his shop on Saturday night. He was taken forcefully. We got a call from the police telling me that he was picked up. He has done nothing wrong. The violence didn’t even take place near our home. We live in G Block, while the incident happened in C Block,” she told TwoCircles.net. 

She alleged that the police beat them up. “The police harassed us,” she added. 

Only Muslim men named in the FIR
Many Muslim men were picked up for questioning by the Delhi Police. In the first information report (FIR) filed at Jahangirpuri police station, 14 people—all Muslim—have been named as accused. However, TwoCircles.net confirmed that 4 to 5 more men were picked up on Sunday. 

60-year-old Mansuri’s son was picked up by the police Sunday afternoon. “We do not know what to do. He was outside a restaurant at that time. The police suddenly came and picked him up. He did not do anything. This is injustice. What is the government trying to do with us?” she asked. 

She said the family has no information about the whereabouts of their son. 

According to locals in the area, violence erupted on Saturday after a Shoba Yatra played songs loudly and men waved swords and pistols outside the mosque. “It was in the evening that a procession was taken outside the mosque. Some people requested them to move as the prayers were about to start but they didn’t budge. They had swords and pistols in their hands and they threw stones at us. Are we supposed to not do anything when they are doing this?” Zohra Khan, a resident of Jahangirpuri C Block said. 

Another resident Aslam said that Shobha Yatra has been taking place for years but this is the first time we saw such a level of violence.” 

“Men were carrying swords, axes and pistols. I don’t know when this started happening,” Aslam, another resident said. 

Sana (name changed on request) was on her way to pick up her son from tuition when she saw the mob. “I was so scared and witnessed everything in front of me. Why is this happening? How can they enter our mosques and try to wave saffron flags there? They had swords and when they were asked to leave they turned violent,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Hindu organizations outside the Jahangirpuri Police Station claimed that it was the Muslims who started the violence. “They are Rohingya Muslims living here, illegally selling drugs and doing all kinds of illegal businesses in the area. They made a mosque here. Who has given them that right? These Muslims need to be removed from here and our Hindus need to come together,” a man called “Guru,” from a right-wing organization said. 

When TwoCircles.net asked police about how they are trying to handle the situation., “We are waiting for orders from our superiors,” an officer on duty said.

There is anger among people who said that they are being wrongly accused of starting the violence. “Nobody is showing the truth. We just want peace and nothing else. Everyone has the right to follow their faith. Then why are we being beaten up and harassed for following ours?” Fatima, a resident, asked.


Nikita Jain is an independent journalist based in New Delhi. She tweets at @nikita_jain15