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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Police team attacked while trying to arrest Jahangirpuri violence accused, CP busts fake claim of ‘saffron flag planted on mosque’

A police team came under attack on Monday when it had gone to arrest a man involved in the attack on a Hanuman Jayanti procession in Jahangirpuri, New Delhi.

Police was pelted with stones from rooftops when they went to arrest 28-year-old Yunus aka Imam aka Sonu ‘Chikna’ who was seen opening fire from a pistol during Saturday’s attack on the Hindu festival procession. Inspector Satyendra was injured in Monday’s stone pelting, reports Dainik Jagran, making him the 9th policeman overall injured with relation to this episode.

Yunus was finally arrested later afternoon. He is the brother of a known criminal in the area, Salim ‘Chikna’, who had already been arrested on Sunday for his role in the planned communal violence. Sheikh Hameed, a scrap dealer, had provided glass bottles to the rioters that were filled with chemicals and hurled on innocents.

Another accused who had been arrested for opening fire turned out to be a 16-year-old juvenile – he had been arrested last year for a murder but was released after a month in a juvenile correctional facility. After he was arrested on Sunday and presented in Rohini court as an adult, his parents filed a petition in Delhi High Court, which was immediately heard and police was ordered to present him before 4.30 PM in juvenile court.

Till now, 26 people have been arrested for the Jahangirpuri violence, with prime accused Ansar reportedly a scrap dealer originally from Bengal who has links with parties like AAP, police and other influential people in the area. He is known to throw lavish parties for police and other officials, to ensure they turn a blind eye to his criminal deeds.

Eerie similarity with how AAP councilor Tahir Hussain played a key role in 2020 Delhi riots, and how AAP worker Ansar stoked the 2022 Jahangirpuri riot

One Umashankar Dube who was injured in the violence when someone attacked him with a sword said that Ansar had threatened Bajrang Dal activists who had organised a Hanuman Chalisa path (reading) 2-3 months back. When the Islamists first started attacking Hindu processioners, people asked Ansar, who was standing in a group of 60-70 people at the C-Block masjid, to stop the attack. But he retorted, “you will have to pay for what you did” and kept instigating the mob.

Umashankar added that he heard other names like Munna Bangali, Aarif, Rafi, Alam being called out by the attackers and were all conversing in Bengali. Even SI Medha Lal who was injured in the violence on Saturday had said that the attackers were conversing in Bengali, and that too in a dialect peculiar to Bangladesh.

In another development, Delhi’s Commissioner of Police (CP) Rakesh Asthana said that the claim of a saffron flag being planted in the Jahangirpuri mosque where the violence broke out is baseless. Those found spreading this rumour will not be spared, he said during a press briefing on Monday. CP Asthana added that 8 of those arrested for this violence already had criminal cases lodged against them.

Inventing some or the other excuse to claim they were ‘provoked’ into violence is a time-tested Islamist strategy – whether it is claims of saffron flags being planted, ‘objectionable music’ being played while passing in front of a mosque, or about ‘blasphemous’ social media posts. Anything which can be used to whip up a ‘Islam is under threat’ frenzy is used.

It is also becoming clear in police investigation that illegal Bangladeshi Muslim and Rohingya immigrants have played a major part in the Jahangirpuri violence. A similar pattern of planned, well-coordinated violence was seen in other recent incidents of anti-Hindu violence in Karauli, Khargone, Khambat and Lohardaga.

Although the matter of deporting these illegals has been in public discourse for last few decades, with laws like CAA being passed and citizen registers like NRC proposed, we are no closer to solving this problem. Judiciary insists these immigrants are given all benefits in the meantime, and with several well-funded organizations fighting their legal case, this only acts as an incentive for even more illegal immigration.

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