Scores of people from different communities participated in a ceremony to install new idols at a temple in Hauz Qazi area here, which was vandalised last week after a fight over parking took a communal turn. In signs of rapprochement, Muslims participated in distributing water, cold drinks and food during a procession that was taken in the area.
Abdul Baqir, the president of the Lal Kuan resident welfare association, said people from the Muslim community also helped Hindu “brothers and sisters” to successfully mark their procession.
“We have been helping out them since morning,” Baqir said. “The new idols have been placed after the purification of the temple,” said Anil Kumar Pandey, the priest of the Durga Mandir in Lal Kuan.
Tara Chand Saxena, a resident of the Durga Mandir Street, said the temple committee had borne the expenses. The priest performed rituals, following which the procession was taken out.
Clashes had broken out between two groups from different communities on June 30 over the parking of a scooter, following which the temple was vandalised. The police have so far arrested seven men and apprehended eight juveniles in connection with the vandalism.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Vijay Goel, Manoj Tiwari and Hans Raj Hans also participated in the function. People were wearing saffron T-shirts and chanting slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ during the procession.
“We appreciate the Aman (peace) Committee’s move where they are welcoming the Hindu community people,” said Tiwari, the Delhi BJP chief and Northeast Delhi MP. Goel hit out at local MLA and Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain.
“Last week, some people, including Aam Aadmi Party MLA Imran Hussain, tried to escalate communal tension in the area after a temple was vandalised,” the Rajya Sabha MP said. “We condemned this act and asked police to take action against him, but they did not take any action against Hussain till now.”
Hussain had rejected the charges and also filed police complaint against Goel. Delhi BJP spokesperson Pravin Shankar Kapoor also questioned Hussain’s absence in the procession. According to a senior police officer, the presence of police and paramilitary personnel will be taken off gradually. Some police presence would be there in the area for a couple of days.
Shamin Ahmad (65), a member of the Aman Committee, said: “We condemned the incident that had happened. People from outside Lal Kuan came here and tried create communal tension in the area.”
“I have not seen situation like this from past 27 years. When the Babri Masjid demolished, only then the curfew was placed here. But after that nothing like this happened,” said Mohammad Shahi (47), a local who has a business of marriage cards.