Waving saffron flags and raising Jai Shri Ram slogans, residents and members of Hindu groups took out processions amid heavy police deployment on Hanuman Jayanti on Thursday in northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, which was hit by communal violence last year.
The celebrations concluded peacefully with security personnel, in anti-riot gear and armed with tear gas shells, deployed in huge numbers to prevent any untoward incident.
According to police, the organisers had sought permission for the processions and the route was regularised.
Special Commissioner of Police (law and order) Deependra Pathak said on Wednesday, “Hanuman Jayanti celebration at Jahangirpuri is being regulated in consultation with the organisers. We are ensuring that it takes place safely and securely.” The main procession was organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad in EE block and saw participation from hundreds of people dressed in saffron and yellow attires.
Chants of Jai Shri Ram and Har Har Mahadev rent the air even as the organisers lamented the curtailment of the procession route by police.
Vishwajeet Kumar, a local resident, said, “Why do police only ask us to cooperate every time. We have been celebrating this day for several years. Police asked us to limit the distance of the procession but we have a right to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti in a bigger way.” BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who earlier claimed that he was detained by police, also joined the rally in the afternoon.
Another procession, albeit on a smaller scale, was taken out in Jahangirpuri’s H block — near the spot where communal riots had broken out last year on Hanuman Jayanti.
Organised by the Hindu Vahini, the participants wore black scarves and armbands to protest against police for the shortened route.
“We had applied for the permission in February. However, it was denied by police on Wednesday. We have been organising rallies on this occasion for last many years. Police finally allowed us to hold a small rally so, we wore black scarves and bands to protest against this,” said Arvind Mishra of Hindu Vahini.
Amit Singh, a resident of Jahangipuri, said it was police’s responsibility to give security to the procession and ensure that it covers the entire route proposed by the organisers.
“We agree that the law and order situation in the area should be maintained but it was police’s responsibility to give us enough distance to take out a procession while maintaining peace in the area. We need to follow their instructions and have no other option,” Singh said.
A senior police officer said adequate security arrangements were made in Jahangirpuri and other places in northwest district ahead of Hanuman Jayanti.
“Eight to ten companies of outside forces along with local police were deployed in Jahangirpuri. There were two rallies held in Jahangirpuri at H and EE-blocks. Police regularised their routes, the officer said.
Meanwhile, processions were also taken out in other parts of the city with speakers blaring religious songs.
An orgnaiser of one of the processions in east Delhis Nand Nagri said, We had a meeting with police and assured them that the rally will take place on the designated route. We want to celebrate the Hanuman Jayanti and do not want to create any kind of law and order situation in the area which is peaceful.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday asked all states to ensure law and order during Hanuman Jayanti and monitor any factor that could disturb peace and harmony in society.
The MHA’s advisory was aimed at sensitising law enforcement agencies following the communal violence on Ram Navami last week.
On March 30, a large group of people took out a march amid heavy security deployment in Jahangirpuri here on Ram Navami in contravention of rules following which riot control force was deployed to prevent any untoward incident, police said.
Delhi Police had denied permission for holding the “Shree Ram Bhagwan Pratima Yatra” as part of Ram Navami mahotsav in the area. However, people gathered at a park in the northwest Delhi locality and performed puja there.
Eight police personnel and a local were injured in the stone-pelting and arson after clashes broke out between two communities in Jahangirpuri during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on April 16, 2022. Some vehicles were also torched.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)