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Hindus lead Muharram processions as Trilokpuri takes steps towards normalcy

PTI 04 Nov 2014, 23:33:05 PM IST

New Delhi: East Delhi's Trilokpuri today set an example of communal harmony as Hindu volunteers came out to lead Muharram processions in the area which had witnessed violent clashes between two communities around the time of Diwali.

The six processions in the area today which were all led by Hindu locals there, however, passed only through ‘safe' routes identified by the police amidst heavy ground-to-air security along the way with drones also being employed to carry out an aerial survey.

“We had a meeting with the organisers and had chosen the relatively safe routes. We had deep deployment; a large number of men were stationed on roofs. The whole area was scanned by drones to see that nobody has stored bottles or stones on the roofs and we had also covered the lanes and bylanes which were opening on to the routes of the processions,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Ajay Kumar.

The processions, which also saw the volunteers serving refreshments, this time remained restrained as the participants in it did not carry any weapons.

Neither did they perform self-flagellation using objects like blades, chains and whips, which has been a tradition for these processions taken out to mark the mourning.

In a bid to bring back peace and harmony in the area after clashes there between two communities following a drunken brawl on Diwali night, 30 Hindu volunteers had come forward to lead six Muharram processions which originated from Blocks 27 and 37 of Trilokpuri.

“We had put personnel ahead of and at the tail of the procession. We held meetings with community volunteers where they put Chabbil (stalls) for giving sharbat and drinking water along the route.

“A large number of volunteers from the Aman committee joined the procession. In fact, they were sitting with the police guarding the Taziya so that nothing untoward happens when it was parked,” said Kumar.
Police had also roped in local volunteers to keep an eye on any suspicious activity and identify outsiders who may try to disrupt the peace in the locality.

Talking about the symbolic gesture, Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range), Sanjay Beniwal, told PTI, “Everything has been peaceful. Hindus led the Muslim processions and offered water and refreshments by setting up Chhabils along the routes. Muslims honoured them with pink stoles as a mark of respect. Both the communities were very happy and they are now planning a joint prayer for peace in the locality.”

Muharram is observed by Muslims to mourn the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, in the battle of Karbala.

Police personnel in anti-riot gear along with six additional companies, RAF and CRPF have been posted in Trilokpuri to deal with any untoward situation in the wake of the clashes.

Meanwhile, police today again relaxed prohibitory orders for 13 hours in the locality between 6 AM to 7 PM.

Clashes which were sparked on Diwali night in Trilokpuri by a drunken brawl near a religious structure left around 70 people, including 56 policemen, injured.