Clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri area on Saturday, leaving several police personnel injured.
Police said there was stone-pelting and some vehicles were also torched in the violence that occurred at around 6 pm. Additional police forces have been rushed to Jahangirpuri and other communally sensitive areas.
Delhi Police PRO Anyesh Roy told PTI that it was a traditional procession taken out on Hanuman Jayanti every year.
''When the procession reached Kushal Cinema, a clash broke out between two communities. Stones were also pelted,'' Roy said.
''The police personnel deployed with the procession intervened and brought the situation under control but because of the stone pelting, some policemen were injured and were taken to hospital for treatment.
'''The situation is under control. All senior officers are on the spot. Since it is a sensitive area, additional police forces have been made available,'' he said.
According to information received so far, around 5-6 police personnel and a couple of civilians have been injured, said an official.
Special Commissioner, Law and Order (Zone 1), Deependra Pathak, told PTI: ''There is peace and tranquillity. We are communicating with the people. We have requested them to maintain peace and not pay heed to rumours.'' Talking about the security arrangements in Jahangirpuri, he said, ''We (deployed police personnel) are in adequate numbers, and we have contained the situation.'' More than 5-6 police personnel are injured and according to latest information, only one civilian was hurt, Pathak said, adding that the injured have been mainly taken to the Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital.
Asked about what led to the violence, he said, ''It is a matter of investigation. We are investigating it.'' Condemning the violence and terming it ''unfortunate'', Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said that those behind this incident will not be spared, according to officials.
Taking stock of the situation along with Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, he appealed to people to maintain peace and restrain, and cooperate with police in maintaining law and order, a senior official said.
The Lt Governor has also asked Asthana to depute forces at all other identified sensitive areas and localities in Delhi, and ensure mobile patrolling and vigil under the direct supervision and responsibility of senior officers, he said.
''He also directed that all possible help be provided to the injured police personnel apart from civilians who suffered injuries in the scuffle. He also spoke to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about the incident,'' the official said.
In a purported video of the incident, several people could be seen pelting stones during the procession. Some are seen brandishing swords on a street while others were hurling abuses and a police siren could also be heard in the background.
PTI could not independently check the authenticity of the video. Delhi Police Commissioner Asthana said that strict action will be taken against rioters and requested citizens not to pay heed to rumours and fake news on social media.
''In today's incident in NW District, the situation is under control. Adequate additional force has been deployed in Jahangirpuri and other sensitive areas.
''Senior officers have been asked to remain in the field and closely supervise the law & order situation & undertake patrolling,'' Asthana tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to the Commissioner of Police and Special Commissioner (law and order) and directed them to take all necessary action following the violence, sources said.
The Delhi Police has also apprised the top functionaries of the Union Home Ministry about the situation.
The home ministry is keeping a close watch on the situation and gave necessary directions to the Delhi Police, the sources said.
Chief Minister Kejriwal said that the incident is extremely condemnable and appealed to all to maintain peace.
He said the Lt Governor has assured him that all steps are being to ensure peace and that guilty will not be spared.
''The incident of stone-pelting on Shobhayatra (procession) in Delhi''s Jahangirpuri is extremely condemnable. Strict action should be taken against the guilty. Appeal to all - maintain peace and hold each other''s other,'' Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Some BJP leaders, including Kapil Mishra and Delhi's party unit spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor, alleged that it was the handiwork of illegal Bangladeshi migrants living in the area.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari claimed it was ''part of a big conspiracy that should be probed immediately and strict action should be taken against the culprits''.
Officials said overall security has been stepped up in all the remaining 14 police districts of the national capital and technical surveillance has been also mounted to ensure no untoward incident takes place.
Communal clashes had broken out in Northeast Delhi on February 24, 2020 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 700 injured.
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