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Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan, famous for its hardware market, resembled a militarised zone on Monday as hundreds of Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel armed with anti-riot gear were deployed through the day.
The security agencies had put barricades at strategic spots and heavy security had been put in place even in the narrow alleys even as all the shops were shut and residents asked to remain indoors until the situation was brought under control.
This was followed by a minor scuffle over parking a scooter between two individuals belonging to different communities which soon took a communal shape. Reportedly, a temple was vandalised in the locality.
Groups of Hindu and Muslim residents have accused each other of stone pelting and violence that took place on Sunday night.
The trouble began on Sunday night when Aas Mohammad, 20, was parking his scooter outside a building. Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, a resident of the building, who runs an eatery, objected to it, witnesses said.
Gupta’s wife Babita said when her husband objected to parking the vehicle near the stall, Mohammad left, but returned with more men who were “probably drunk” and thrashed him. Saqib, a 27-year-old software engineer who lives in the area, narrated a different version. “When Mohammad was beaten up, he and his other family members went to the police station and filed a case,” he said.
Both Aas Mohammad and Sanjeev Kumar Gupta sustained injuries, police said. Senior police officers said three separate cases have been filed.
One case is based on the statement of the man who tried to park his scooter, the other is of the man who objected to him and the third case is against unknown people for rioting and damaging public property, the police said.
When Mohammad parked his scooter, Gupta asked him to move the vehicle somewhere else or he would set it on fire. “Then a fight broke out between them. Some people pulled Mohammad inside the building and thrashed him,” said Aqib Hassan, 25, who lives in the area.
“After some altercation & scuffle over a parking issue in Hauz Qazi, tension arose b/w two groups of people from different communities. We have taken legal action & all efforts are being made to pacify feelings & bring about amity. People are requested to help in restoring normalcy (sic),” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa tweeted.
After some altercation &scuffle over a parking issue in Hauz Qazi, tension arose b/w two groups of people from different communities.We have taken legal action & all efforts are being made to pacify feelings &bring about amity. People are requested to help in restoring normalcy.
— DCP Central Delhi (@DCPCentralDelhi) July 1, 2019