Procession that sparked city riot didn’t have permission

NEW DELHI: In a new twist in the case of the riots in Jahangirpuri on Saturday, Delhi Police said late on Monday that the Hanuman Jayanti procession that resulted in the communal flare-up — unlike two other processions taken out during the day — didn’t have the requisite permission. A case has been registered against the organisers.
Police sources said one Prem Sharma, a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), had been summoned to join the investigations. Deputy commissioner of police (north-west) Usha Rangnani said they have registered a case under IPC Section 188 (disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant) at Jahangirpuri police station against the organisers for going ahead with the procession in the C block area of Jahangirpuri. “One of the accused persons has joined the investigation,” she said.
The investigators said they are also probing whether the organisers of this procession had any intention to stir up trouble and had deliberately gone close to the mosque.
Earlier in the day, police commissioner Rakesh Asthana had told the press that the route of this procession was the same as that of the other two shobha yatras taken out in the morning and afternoon. There was an altercation towards the end of the procession, leading to the violence.
He had denied that there was any attempt by the participants in the procession to barge into a mosque and hoist saffron flags as was reportedly alleged by some residents of the area. “There was no attempt to raise any flag at Jama Masjid in Jahangirpuri. A fair probe will be carried out by the district police, crime branch and special cell, who are looking at various aspects of the case,” he said.
Police said they had received a request from the organisers at Jahangirpuri police station on April 15 for permission to take out the procession. “They were told that only the DCP could give such a permission. Instead of going for that, they simply collected a crowd and went ahead,” said police.
According to police, the shobha yatra started from E block of Jahangirpuri around 4.15 pm. The route was BJRM Hospital Road, K Block, BC Market, Kushal Chowk and G Block and was to end at Mangal Bazaar road in Mahindra Park.
It was around 6pm, according to police, when the procession reached outside a mosque, that one Ansar, along with 4-5 people, reached there and started quarrelling with the participants. Soon, stone-pelting began in which nine people — eight policemen and one resident — were injured. Several vehicles were vandalised.
Sub-inspector Meda Lal, who had received a bullet injury, is now stable. Police have registered a case and apprehended more than 23 people, including two juveniles, in the case.
Commissioner Asthana said police will take strict action against the miscreants based on evidence, regardless of their class or religion. He, however, warned against rumour-mongering, saying legal action will be taken against people if they were found to be culpable.
“Several people on social media are trying to spread rumours and they will not be spared. The special cell will keep a tab on all such accounts and investigate them,” he added. He also asked people to call them up or ask them in case they wanted any clarification pertaining to speculation on social media.
“Police officials on the ground, including a sub-inspector, tried to pacify the mob. Out of nine people who are injured, eight are police officials which shows how they tried to save people from getting injured. Twenty-three people from both communities have been arrested, out of whom eight have criminal antecedents,” said Asthana.
He said police were analysing CCTV and mobile footage as well as other evidence and more arrests will be made. “The case will be investigated by the crime branch and 14 teams have been formed for a thorough probe. Three firearms and five swords have been seized from the accused so far,” he added.

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