Delhi police link VHP, Bajrang Dal to Jahangirpuri violence, soon retract statement

Police will now have to answer how a procession could move in the area without its permission, especially with at least two police jeeps accompanying it
Last Updated 18 April 2022, 15:34 IST

Delhi Police on Monday linked the VHP and the Bajrang Dal to the violence in Jahangirpuri in an official statement shared with media, which was retracted within hours omitting any reference to the Sangh Parivar outfits.

Police have now registered a second case in connection with the Saturday violence in north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri following a Hanuman Jayanti procession, the third one in the area on that day, for not taking permission.

Initially, police said the case under Section 188 (disobeying the orders of a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against the "organisers” of the procession for not taking permission. The statement had mentioned “organisers of VHP, Bajrang Dal, Delhi Prant, Mukherjee Nagar Jila, Jhandewala" for "carrying out a procession…without any permission".

It also said, "one accused person namely…Jila Sewa Pramukh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been arrested".

However, within hours, police revised the statement omitting any reference to the outfits and the arrest. The fresh statement said a case has been "registered against organisers for carrying out a procession (in the evening of 16/04/22 in the area of PS Jahangirpuri) without any permission". It also said "one accused person has joined the investigation".

Further investigation is in progress, the revised statement said. It also referred to two other processions which were carried out in the morning and afternoon of April 16 in Jahangirpuri with due permission.

The first case registered on Saturday under stringent sections 307 (attempt to murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting) and other relevant Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act sections on Saturday saw 21 people arrested and two minors detained for their alleged involvement in the violence, in which nine persons were injured.

The registration of the second case and arrest became public hours after Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said that those involved in the violence during the Hanuman Jayanti procession in Jahangirpuri violence on Saturday will not be spared irrespective of class, creed or religion.

Police will now have to answer how a procession could move in the area without its permission, especially with at least two police jeeps accompanying it. Locals said there were three processions and the one by the VHP and Bajrang Dal was the third one.

Videos posted on social media showed that those in the procession were carrying swords and baseball bats. A fact-finding team of Left parties on Monday said locals told them that some of them were even carrying country-made pistols. The team also said that "arms were later brought by some elements in the minority community" too.

Locals claimed that the members of the third procession stopped the procession in front of the mosque at the time of prayers and increased the volume of music they were playing. While locals claimed that there was an attempt to hoist a flag on the mosque wall, Asthana denied any such incident.

Earlier in the day, a minor stone-pelting incident was reported from Jahangirpuri when a family of a man pelted "two stones" at a police team that went to his house after a video purportedly showed him opening fire.

"A video was circulated on April 17 in social media showing a man opening fire in Jahangirpuri on April 16. A police team had gone to his house in CD Park Road. The family members pelted two stones. One person is detained. The situation is completely under control," Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) Usha Rangnani said.

She said reports about fresh stone-pelting were an "exaggeration of facts" and it was a "minor, one-off incident".

Asthana said some people were trying to spread rumours on social media and appealed to people to ignore them. Police are monitoring social media to ensure that fake news is not circulated, which could create further trouble following the violence in Jahangirpuri two days ago, he said.

"Some people are trying to disturb peace through social media posts. We are monitoring social media. We will take legal action against those spreading fake news. People should not fall for rumours," he said.

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(Published 18 April 2022, 13:34 IST)

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