Home Minister Amit Shah summons Delhi Police chief over communal tension in Chandni Chowk

Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik was summoned by Home Minister Amit Shah over June 30 clashes in old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area triggered by a row over parking leading to alleged vandalisation of a local temple

Patnaik, described the meeting as ‘a general briefing’ on the Chandni Chowk situation. “Action had been taken against the identified people,” he said, claiming the police had acted promptly and had brought the situation under control,

Delhi police chief said four people have been arrested and action will be taken against others as well. “The CCTV footage is about a particular group of criminals. They will be identified and arrested soon.” Patnaik said, referring to the CCTV footage of some men throwing bricks and stones at the temple.

More than 1,000 Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel armed with anti-riot gear were deployed after the flare-up in the Walled City on June 30. Police barricades were put on the main road at Lal Kuan, a popular market of hardware goods in central Delhi. All the shops were shut, and residents were asked to remain indoors until the situation was brought under control.

According to police, it all started on Sunday night with a parking dispute between a Hindu and a Muslim man in the locality but things turned ugly when a rumour spread that the Muslim man was lynched to death. The violence that followed involved alleged vandalism of a temple in the locality by a mob and sporadic instances of stone pelting, followed by violent protests by groups from both communities the next day.

According to agency reports, situation was normalising in Chandni Chowk’s Hauz Qazi on Wednesday. Shops had opened and locals offered prayers at the Durga temple that had allegedly been vandalised.

Ballimaran AAP MLA Imran Hussain congratulated Delhi Police for bringing the situation under control while urging that incident be not politicized, “No one wants clashes here and markets have also opened. I congratulate Delhi Police which brought the situation under control. Bad elements, who did this, have no religion and action will be taken against them.” We should not politicise the incident, Hussain told ANI.

On Tuesday, Union minister and Chandni Chowk MP, Dr Harsh Vardhan had visited Hauz Qazi area and said that the culprits will be arrested soon.