Delhi: Updates on the situation of communal tension in Trilokpuri

November 3, 2014

STATEMENT ON THE RECENT COMMUNAL DISTURBANCES IN TRILOKPURI
BY
PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE FOR DEMOCRACY AND SECULARISM

NOVEMBER 2, 2014

(Members of P.A.D.S. have been interacting with and visiting residents of Trilokpuri ever since the communal disturbances started on Oct 23. Along with many other citizens we are involved in efforts to re-establish peace and in providing legal aid to those wrongfully arrested. This statement is based on our experiences.)

The inhabitants of Trilokpuri, a densely populated neighbourhood of working people in Delhi, went through a harrowing week after Diwali night on 23 October. A brawl around two places of worship that night proved to be the first event. Although the situation appears to have settled down that night, some motivated planning and mobilisation must have taken place that night itself, because the next day it was a full scale communal clash. Armed mobs from outside the locality are reported to have joined the rioting that involved brick throwing. Firearms were also used and two boys suffered critical bullet injuries. Inhabitants are emphatic that the police fired into the crowd. The police first denied firing at all. Its latest claim is that it fired only in self defense. One apparel show room owned by a Muslim resident was gutted. Police intervened in force only two days after the clashes started. It turned the neighbourhood into an occupied war-zone. More than fifty men and minor boys were arrested randomly, many picked up forcibly from their houses amid verbal abuse and physical violence. Road intersections were barricaded and entry and exit points were closely monitored. Drones were used in surveillance and houses systematically searched. Essential supplies were in short supply. Daily wage earners, contract workers, and self employed who could not go out lost their source of livelihood. Seriously wounded and ill had no access to medical aid. While the entire neighbourhood suffered in one form or another, inhabitants of three blocks in particular, nos 15, 27 and 28, and attached jhuggi clusters, mainly occupied by citizens who are Muslims bore the brunt of police action.

All this happened at a distance of less than ten kilometers as the crow flies from the center of state power in India’s capital. National elections five months ago were won by Mr Narendra Modi who projected a ‘strong man’ image and promised that he would provide ‘achhe din’ of decisive and effective governance. In reality, the face of the Indian state in Trilokpuri these days is ugly. First, institutions of the state, its police, bureaucracy, and all political parties associated with it failed to prevent a localised scuffle from flaring into a violent riot. And second, when the state did show up, only its authoritarian jack boots were seen on the ground. It further terrorised people already battered by rioting and public violence. It did not take any steps to initiate dialogue between affected communities, and provided no relief or medical aid. Its social institutions like schools, anganwadis, health centers, or the police organised peace committee, etc. simply collapsed. Three fourths of the arrested people are Muslim citizens. Some of them are migrant workers. Arrested people were abused and beaten up while in police lock up. Many of them had visible injuries when presented in front of a Magistrate in the Karkardooma court on 26th October. They were not provided any medical aid or food for nearly two days.

The Trilokpuri neighbourhood has a traumatic past. It was established in the mid seventies of the last century during Emergency. It is a so-called resettlement colony, in which people forcibly displaced from inner city were settled and given land titles. The displacement and settlement process was often violent. The most gruesome massacres of Sikh citizens in Delhi in 1984 took place in Trilokpuri and neighbouring Kalyanpuri. Despite the fast economic growth and massive urbanization in the past two decades in India, settlement patterns in cities continue to be segregated by religion. Most of Trilokpuri is inhabited by Balmikis, a scheduled caste, classified as untouchables in the orthodox Hindu varna order. After the Sikhs migrated out, Muslims are the other community, who are concentrated mainly to three out of thirty blocks. Recent migrants in search of work form a significant part of the population. They are also settling along community lines. The twenty five square yard plots originally alloted have now risen to three-four storey pucca structures, providing a decent rental income to original owners. There are also occasional cars parked in narrow streets. The little prosperity that has trickled into this neighbourhood has however not brought secure peace. Residents often complain of brawls and other forms of every day violence. The area reportedly also suffers from petty crime syndicates operating under police protection. Nevertheless, for thirty years since 1984, the neighbourhood escaped communal violence. Even the weeks following demolition of Babri mosque in 1992 passed peacefully.

Recent events in Trilokpuri reveal the character of Indian society and state that do not portend well at all. All experiments in Fascism, that involved selective violence against minorities to consolidate a nation, have relied upon mass support. The India of 2014 can not be said to be impervious to such schemes. The political success of BJP in the national elections has emboldened Hindutva elements to openly target religious minorities and mobilise aggressively around sectarian demands. The ex-MLA from the BJP is reported to be part of the communal organising in Trilokpuri. Communal polarisation is proving to be a successful electoral strategy for the BJP. It is exploiting economic, political, gender and caste anxieties in a fast changing society which has not developed a strong popular democratic consciousness. The tragedy of politics at the moment in India is that none of the competitors of the BJP have a clue about how to counter its dangerous mix of religion and politics with a leader enjoying mass support. The Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi had succeeded in getting the support of Muslim and Dalit voters in the last assembly elections and currently holds the Trilokpuri seat, but it is afraid to come out publicly against communal violence lest it disturbs its electoral calculations. Congress is in severe decline and absent from the scene. No mainstream political party in India has had the wisdom and ideological clarity to realise that treating society in terms of the majority- minority framework actually validates communal agenda, and that the counter to communalisation of politics is an unequivocal assertion of citizenship rights of every one.

It is also obvious that the Indian state, while seemingly democratic in some aspects, is also undemocratic in some fundamental ways. It does not consider the protection of democratic rights of its citizens as its prime responsibility. It regularly attacks rights of the poor and socially marginal, which at present also include religious minorities. Indian state still follows the colonial authoritarian policy of treating moments of deep social strife like riots as a ‘law and order’ issue, and its first action is to enforce its brutal authority over people, rather than help the victims. Further, over time the Indian state institutions have been communalised. None of the victims of communal riots in India, including the most gruesome ones, of 1984 in Delhi, 1992-3 in Mumbai and 2002 in Gujarat have received justice. Commission after commission on riots in India have found the police and administration to be authoritarian and partisan. Yet, if nothing has changed, there obviously are powerful social and political forces that wish to use this character of Indian state for their own ends.

The social ideological environment of neoliberalism has encouraged religiosity and public assertion of religious identities, while weakening mass based mobilisations against oppression and exploitation. This is happening in all communities. Right wing political forces claiming to represent specific religious communities are using the opportunity to develop new kinds of aggressive religious practices that lead to social strife and communalise the society. This is a new challenge which democratic and secular forces have to contend with. Barring a few exceptions, the media in the capital has played a partisan role during recent developments in Trilokpuri. English language newspapers and TV channels that cater essentially to consumerist aspirations of urban propertied and professionals have spread the police version of rioting, which blames Muslim residents of the neighbourhood. They are more interested in sustaining a consumerist utopia unencumbered by social disturbances, rather showing the sufferings of the marginal and the physical abuse of people arrested by the police. Many residents of Trilokpuri work as maids, drivers, security guards and provide other services to the upper middle class residents of neighbouring Mayur Vihar. Yet life in the latter went on as usual.

P.A.D.S. appeals to the citizens of Delhi to disregard aggressive sectarian demands, provocations and rumours by communal forces and defeat their plans to communalise society. Secularism of the state and society is necessary for everyone, believers of different religions and non-believers, to lead a peaceful life without discrimination and persecution. Before succumbing to calls for their so-called ‘community’ interests all citizens should ponder over what kind of society they wish to live in. The one based on hatred, religious discrimination, national chauvinism, or the one which is inclusive and respects citizenship rights of everyone. We appeal to the working people of the city, who constitute the overwhelming majority of its population, to organise and fight together against their economic exploitation, caste oppression, price rise, police extortion, and deplorable condition of public services like hospitals, schools, and transport, rather than against each other.

P.A.D.S. demands following from Delhi state administration.

* All administrative and police officials who failed in their duty to prevent rioting, made random and wrongful arrests, and physically abused citizens should be punished.

* All residents who suffered physical injury, mental trauma, wrongful arrest and loss of livelihood and property during riots and subsequent police occupation of the neighbourhood should be adequately compensated.

* All citizens arrested should be granted immediate bail. Cases against those arrested wrongfully withdrawn immediately, and other cases settled expeditiously so that arrested people and their families can lead a normal life as soon as possible.

* A judicial commission of inquiry should be constituted immediately to find out culpability of state administration, and of the political leadership of any party in fanning the communal violence.

* The ‘official’ peace committee established by the police has proved completely ineffective. It should be revamped and representatives of the organisations working in the area should be included in it. Its meetings should be held regularly and publicly.

* Many areas in Delhi are potential flash points for communal violence. There are many reports of aggressive sectarian demands made by ‘panchayats’ and ‘mahapanchayats’. All those making illegal demands and spreading false propaganda about others should be dealt with firmly, so that citizens of other parts of the city do not suffer what Trilokpuri residents are going through.

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A brief fact-finding report of communal violence at Trilokpuri

by

Arya, Anshita (Krantikari Naujawan Sabha), Gopal (Morcha partrika), Sumati (Tootati Sanklein patrika), Siddhi (Nowruz), Nagender (Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra), Chitra (The New Materialists), Ishan (DSF), Santosh (Mazdoor Patrika), Anirban, Gopika (Sanhati)

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An update from Trilokpuri: Continuing fear amongst the Muslim families & a RSS/BJP engineered strife with the local Dalits

a pamphlet by Democratic Students’ Union

Yesterday (on 29th October), DSU activists along with student activists of AISF, DSF and TNM visited Trilokpuri area of East Delhi to assess the ground level situation in the wake of the engineered communal tensions there since Diwali. We visited several blocks in the area and spoke to local activists, peace committee members, local muslims, as well as the dalit population (largely from the Valmiki community) of the area.  Though, it had been four days since the attacks and situation seemed to be under ‘control’ (in terms of no attacks had happened in the past couple of days), the scars of what had unfolded were clearly visible. The continuing feeling of fear and terror amongst the muslim population, the restriction on mobility of the people as well as the legitimate distrust of the police was there for everyone to see. The most disturbing fall out of the entire course of events has been the wedge that it has created and accentuated between the dalits with the muslims (both sharing the same class position), with the former clearly viewing the latter in terms of “an other”. With the possibility of elections in Delhi in the very near future, it is not very hard to guess how such polarizations are created and whom are they going to benefit. Though facts of what had unfolded in the past few days are quite well known, the different people we spoke to had different takes and different points of emphasis – showing the effect of this polarization. We present below some of our findings in the course of our interactions with the people.

Walking through the muslim majority blocks, one could see lines of locked houses and shops. It had been reported by several previous fact finding teams that large sections of the muslim population had fled from their homes in fear after the tensions started escalating. We found in our visit that the majority of the people who had left had still not returned. With the situation far from being normal and palpable tensions prevailing beneath the surfacial calm, it seemed many of them are not going to return soon. Some local activists working in the area were of the opinion that many might return only after the first week of November after Muharram is over, since they fear escalation of tensions and possible attacks then. The situation of some muslim population who used to live in the non-muslim majority blocks was even worse. For example, Seema, one woman we spoke, used to live in block 22 in a rented accommodation. Ever since the attacks, she has not gone back to her house in fear, and her landlord has also specifically asked her not to return soon. She rued how her entire family is in different places since the attacks. Another problem that was being faced by the people were the restrictions on mobility because of the imposition of section 144. Though, on the day we reached it had been slightly relaxed during the afternoon, people pointed how they suffered loss of livelihoods because of the same. Najma, an old woman, who makes her livelihood by selling eggs pointed out how crates of eggs that she had brought to sell in the market had simply rotten because of these prohibitions. In fact, the economic losses were also more directly caused by the direct attacks on some muslim businesses – a pattern in almost all communal attacks.

“We have been destroyed, all my life savings are gone, we’ll leave from here and go back to the village”, these were the words of 60 year old Israr, whose three story garment shop was burnt down early morning on 25th October by unidentified people. Israr has been living here since 1976 when the colony was set up and was a government employee with DESU for the past many years. After retiring, he used his provident fund amount along with other savings and loans from relatives and other places to set up this shop. This shop was considered one of the best in the area and had a sizeable customer base. Since this had been the month of many festivals, he also had a sizeable amount of stock in his shop which was also completely destroyed. Failing to hold back his tears while talking to us, he recounted how all of that was gone within a matter of minutes and he estimated his loss to around 1.5 crore. The manner in which his shop was targeted exemplifies once again how communal attacks specifically target the properties of a small section of upwardly mobile muslims to push them back economically. Israr, for example, said that now he has no other option left now but to sell all his property in order to return the borrowed money. His shop was gutted down in a planned manner and strategically at 4 am in the morning, when the police deployment had subsided. However, some other muslim properties were gutted down in the full presence of the police. Bundu Khan, who owned a kabadi shop, pointed out how his shop was gutted down on the afternoon of 25th October in the full presence of the police and in fact at a time when section 144 had been imposed! He estimated his loss at approximately 35,000 to 40,000.

The heavy deployment of police in these blocks far from providing a sense of security has created greater fear amongst the local muslim population. In fact, we found an extremely disproportionately higher number of police and RAF deployed in the muslim dominated blocks as compared to the other blocks. The implicit assumption behind it is that the muslims were the real ‘trouble makers’ and thus needed to be policed more – something perpetuated by the ruling classes, especially the present Brahmnanical Hindutva fascist government and in fact outrageously quite normalized in some of the non-muslim blocks. The muslims elaborately recounted how the police were more than willing to turn a blind eye during the attacks but were ruthless on them in the subsequent crackdown. The large majority (over 80%) of those arrested by the police for the tension are from the muslim community. Shabana, a middle aged woman, whose four relatives have been arrested by the police, pointed out that her 19 year old son was dragged from their house by the police. Her son was presently lodged in Tihar Jail, where she had visited her the previous day. She pointed out how that he had been brutally beaten up in custody by the police which has led to fractures in his fingers. All those who tried to prevent these arbitrary arrests were brutally lathi-charged by the police (several people showed us the marks caused by these beatings). Even children and women were beaten up by the police, and Shabana pointed out that all this while men from block 28 stripped and were making threatening gestures of raping them. Another person, pointed out, that while beating them the police also abused the muslims on communal lines calling them katua, atankwaadi. Police were still randomly carrying searches in the muslim areas (without warrants) on the pretext of looking for weapons. A local sympathetic journalist whom we met also feared that with muharram coming up, the small swords and etc that the Shia population use in Muharram may be seized and then used as a pretext to witch-hunt them. One of the present major concerns of the Muslim population is to prevent any further arrests and get their (mostly) young boys arrested by the police released.  

The most disconcerting thing in the course of our visit were the conversations we had with the Dalit population of the area. There is hardly much space between the muslim majority blocks, and those where the dalits from the valmiki community are in majority (at times there is just a lane separating the two, while in many blocks the two live together) and there is also not any class difference. But the wedge that has been driven between the two communities seemed quite deep now. Most of the dalits we spoke to were unanimous in their view that these attacks had nothing to do with politics, and were only a reaction to the insult the muslims had inflicted on ‘their Hindu dharm’. On the contrary, the local activists as well as the muslims said that the incident around ‘The Mata ki Chowki’ was merely a pretext to launch pre-planned attacks on muslims. Israr, the person whose garment shop was gutted down, for example questioned that why was his shop that lies in block no. 27 gutted down if the reason for the attacks was some incident related to insult of ‘Hindu religion’ that happened in block 20. Muslims in block 15 said the same thing. The dominant portrayal on the contrary blamed it all on the muslims. When we pointed to them the burnt shops of the muslims, they replied that the muslims had themselves burnt them down to claim insurance benefits! When pointed out that many muslims had left in substantial numbers from their homes, some responded that it was only because they were the real culprits and now feared police clampdown! Their narratives reiterated the entrenched stereotypes of the muslims like– “their boys harass Hindu girls, they marry four times, they are dirty because they slaughter goats and chicken, they are terrorists, they have subjugated us for hundreds of years”. (And while saying all of this they kept cross-checking whether there were any muslims amongst us). The manner in which attacks on muslims were seen as justified by these people who are themselves oppressed and marginalized, with some blaming all their miseries on the muslims and even going to the extent of saying that Trilokpuri would be better off if the muslims just leave the area, reflect an ascendant fascism which shapes popular psyche in macabre ways.

That communal-fascism props up imaginary enemies to divide the oppressed masses so that they do not see their real enemy is something we have often heard, one only needs to pay a visit to Trilokpuri today to see its practical application. A conversation we had with a 20 year old boy shows how deep the communal hatred has been sown. In his words, “…go to Block no. 15. It is the area of the aatankwadis (terrorists). They have guns and unity, which is why they pick up fights at the smallest instances. They rule this place and victimize us. But had the police not come that day, we would have killed all of them.” Then boastfully referring to how muslims had fled from their houses, he went on to say, “Block 15 is empty now.” When we questioned him if the muslims were the ones who rule this place, how come you have made all of them flee, he replied, “it is because we (Hindus) are now finally united.” In the context of the upcoming elections in Delhi, this so called “Hindu-unity” against the “muslims and the forces who appease them” and the self-identification of dalits as “Hindus” is creating a perfect ground for victory for the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist forces. It is an experiment that has reaped the BJP rich electoral dividends in part of UP and Bihar and they are not transporting it to even the capital.

But, all of this of was not done overnight – the escalation of communal tensions around Diwali was not at all spontaneous, neither was it a reaction to the supposed insult to some Hindu goddess. The fact that different muslim majority blocks were attacked from all four sides simultaneously, that many of those who started pelting stones came prepared even wearing helmets, that the police remained a mute spectator for mea long t belie any version which sees them as a “spontaneous reaction”. The role of Sunil Vaid, the BJP MLA candidate from the area and Mahesh Giri, the MP from this constituency in fermenting these tensions is quite well known. Irfan, a local activist working in area, pointed out how the RSS is working here for quite some time amongst the dalits in its typical hydra-headed manner. Several organisations such as Hindu Manch, Hindu Ekta Manch, Hindu Jagran Manch, Hindu Krantikari Sena and even with innocuous names such as Prasar Bharati and Bharat Vikas Parishad have emerged and are actively working in the area. RSS shakas are common, and they have also started organizing sports meet to mobilize the people, especially the youth into their fold. In their activities, they are also completely aided and abetted by the state machinery. What unfolded in Trilokpuri, or earlier this month in Bawana is part of the new strategy to pick up the smallest of incidents to forment communal polarization, on small scales, by spreading the most vicious rumours. This in turn creates a conducive electoral ground for them. The other parliamentary parties, such as the Congress and even the AAP, have also completely exposed themselves before the people with their complete absence. At such a time, it is the responsibility of all progressive, democratic and revolutionary forces to unitedly confront, resist and defeat these nefarious designs of these communal fascist forces.

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Update from Nayan (Oct 28, 2014)

Among others, in the last four days of our interaction in Trilokpuri, what we see is the RSS acomplishing its new modus operandi at present: not full-blown riots, but enough to polarize society on communal lines. This can then be:

a) consolidated into creating a new Dalit ’empowerment’ of Valmikis with its own brand of Hindu identity,
b) shifting this largely working class Dalit population’s economic-social-cultural dependency (who as the so-called ‘lowest’ of Dalits were earlier absorbed mostly into government class IV sanitaion workers) from the one created and nurtured by the Congress since 1975 (its establishment as a resetllement colony) and 1984(anti-Sikh riots where similar passions were mobilized) to the BJP/RSS, which now has state power.
c) restructing and more effective control of the local informal economy (controlled by both the upper stratas of Dalits and Muslims in the area formed in recent time) of gambling markets, property-dealing, and so on.
d) the all-too familiar branding of Muslims as the ‘rabble rousers/instigators’, ‘second-class citizens’, ‘terrorists’, etc.
e) dividing a working class population into new categories of Dalits and Muslims using old faultlines, which can then be mobilized immediately into votes.

The only effective counter to this is organized resistance by a force which is uncompromisingly anti-communal, anti-casteist, and at the same time, also organizes people here on their basic working class identity across identitarian lines. This force though was and is non-existent in Trilokpuri, as in most places in Delhi. The old communist movement strong in these areas once upon a time in the 70s and 80s, has declined to non-existence with the rise of the identity politics and the neoliberal assault which it has not been able to grapple with, added with its own organisational problems/trajectories. In recent times, this is part of the reason why AAP, which was hoped by the ‘electorate’ to have come up as such a force, won Vidhan Sabha elections in this constituency. But AAP, since its electoral win in the area and in nearby Kondli, has all but dissappeared from the ground, which even their supporters in many Blocks are testifying to. This is clearly for ‘playing it safe’ with election-calculations themselves (not offending Dalit votes, also keeping Muslim votes, etc). The MLA Raju Dhinga told a friend, “election mein dekh lenge”. This is a defeatist proposition:

1) AAP kya lasho-ki-dher par election-tak dekhte rehenge?; and

2) even interms of their own frame of election-centric politics, it will yield to nothing faced with cadre-based RSS backing the BJP.

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Update from Sumati (Oct 27, 2014)

Some of us visited Trilokpuri today..curfew and section 144 has been imposed in the area, so we could only form groups of 2-3 and roam in the area and talk to the residents. There was an uneasy calm. No people on the streets except a handful. All shops were shut. There was a lot of police everywhere and some RAF. The area is almost entirely comprised of lower income and working class, dalits and muslims. While the picture is much more complex and disturbing, and the facts are many, a few observations from the visit are made below:

We talked to many people in Blocks 20, 21, 33 etc and it seemed clear that a deep hatred based on rumours and stereotypes had been generated in the Hindu residents through some well-oiled propaganda machine. People said things like “muslims urinated near the mata ki chowki, they throw meat at our pooja, they harass our women, they always threaten us about making this area into pakistan” etc..but none seemed to have actually SEEN any of this happen. While walking in Block 21, we saw the residence cum office of local BJP leader Sunil Vaid (who had lost the last Delhi Assembly elections to AAP candidate). While talking to women living near his office, we realized a meeting was going on inside. In a short while, about 15-20 men and boys came out from the house looking pretty charged up and instigated. Also a policeman was at the door of the house with a man who seemed like Vaid. Outside, a young man in a faded saffron bandana was video recording something. When one of us went closer to see, this was happening : young men were looking into the camera and pledging to vote for BJP! “hum kasam khate hai ki BJP ko hee vote denge!” All this while, the woman we were talking to denied any instigation by local (BJP) leaders or any election based motive. She blamed Muslims entirely. We walked further to block 28, which has a mixed Hindu Muslim population. Two young boys from Hindu community seemed to have been shot and injured in police firing.

While the police checked on us at all turns and stops, but did not stop us from entering these other gullies, they tried to chase us away from the Muslim dominated Block 27. A stricter curfew was imposed there, perhaps because two shops belonging to muslims had been burnt down and people accused the police of doing so. We were two girls, and we were driven away from entering block 27, inspite of our attempts to enter from different corners. We somehow managed to sneak in. Most people seemed either poor or lower income, work either as daily wage labourers (mistri, painter) or drive autorickshaws, or involved in small business or repairing works. We were told by friends who interacted with people on the other side of Block 27 that many in the muslim colony also work in nearby garment factories in Noida. Similarly the Hindus in the other blocks are almost entirely Dalits from the Balmiki community and are sanitation workers. The two of us were able to talk to some women for a long time. They described how the block 27 had been surrounded and attacked on 24th night, by people with stones and bricks, and bottles. Some of those people were shouting ‘Har Har Mahadev’. The people of this block had nothing to do with the incidents which happened on Diwali night in Block 20, and yet they were being attacked. We were told that they called the police many times, but the police turned up 2 hours later, and mostly stood as mute spectators, while the pathrav was happening. This continued the next day as well. Nazreen, a middle aged woman’s both sons were picked up by the police and brutally beaten up. Her younger son had gone out to buy milk when he was dragged and taken away by the police. When she went to the thana with her older son, he was also picked up. She was not allowed to give food to her sons, while she insists that the “Hindu mothers were allowed to do so”. She broke down in front of us many times. Even though she managed to get her sons released, she cried remembering how brutally the police was beating up boys in front of her. They repeatedly told us, “yeh police logon ki hai, toh hindu musalman dono ke liye hone chahiye? par yeh police poori tarah se ek-tarfah hai. Logon se bhi zyada galti is poore mamle main police aur netaon ki hai”. One woman told us, how both Hindu and Muslim women from Block 27 had pleaded with folded hands to the rioters to stop on the night of 24th. In front of our eyes, we saw a few Muslim families fleeing in fear.

Most people said that the area had not seen communal tension in the last few years (the memories of 1984 are present though). The BJP and Sangh is undoubtedly fully involved in instigating and planning this tension, which seems to have sowed seeds of long-term hatred among common people from the ‘majority community’ towards the Muslims. They will also evidently ‘benefit’ in the upcoming elections. All the residents we talked to said the AAP MLAs had not visited the area even once. Meanwhile, people were unable to buy groceries, milk, medicines, or go for their daily wage labour. The remains of the broken bond among people from both communities lay on the ground which now will benefit Hindutva forces.

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a report by Naveen, Nayanjyoti, Santosh, Kiran Shaheen (Oct 26, 2014)

Reports on the situation of escalation of communal tension was circulated since day before in Trilokpuri Block 15-20-27 in East Delhi. Acting on the same, there was a meeting called by concerned citizens in the daytime today at Sriram centre Mandi House. where various individuals and organisations participated. Some of us visited the area later in the evening. Police presence has been increased after pressure from citizens and local people but situation continues to remain tense in the area with credible reports of RSS’s intervention and police’s evident partisanship in acting with them.

Meanwhile, Police produced 50 youths, mostly from the Muslim community, at Karkardooma Delhi District Court today. In Police custody in the last two days, there were brutally beaten up, with hands and legs of many detained broken and they could hardly walk when produced in Court today. Many people who went after the meeting like Kiran Shaheen were sought to be evicted forcefully by the police simply for being present in the Court premises. They were booked under Sections 147. 148, 149, and 307 (attempt to murder), non-bailable warrants and sent to judicial custody.

petition has been sent to the Governor and Police Commisoner from concerned citizens and those present at the meeting. It was decided from the meeting itself that we will visit Trilokpuri, Mayur Vihar Phase-1 tomorrow morning at 10am to pressurize the police and also meet residents in the area. Please do join these efforts.

For updates in the mainstream media, see herehere and here.

Update from Kiran Shaheen yesterday:
1. Since yesterday evening there is a mounting communal tension in Trilok Puri area of east Delhi, near Mayur vihar and Laxmi Nagar, Patpadgunj etc.
2. In block 15-20- 27 junction a mata ki chouki was set up and was supposed to be over by Diwali. On Diwali night some heated exchange between both community (Dalits and Muslims) ppl; Stoning. Two youth arrested, police acted a bit and situation under control that night.
3. Yesterday on friday night again former BJP MLA and others came and said to be threatened to build a temple there; Tension mounted, stoning, firing between, 2 people wounded. At 10 pm night some 3-4000 outsiders came shouting and continued abusing , stoning till 12 midnight; Heavy police and Rapid action force gathered.
4. Today morning was fine till at 10 am, people started stoning and random firing from majority community goons started, in response stones pelted. Police is there but nothing doing.
5. Now on the spot : Police and RAF there but random firing is on and in retaliation stone pelting is on. Just now around 3000 ppl started a meeting in block no 18 to discuss further strategy. Police says they are talking peace. But only one major community people, mostly outsider. Local harmony not being seen.
6. I spoke to MLA who took a round with police for half an hour in the neighbouring area and now sitting at home.
7. Section 144 urgently needed (now imposed). Today two festivals Bhai Dooj and One more. Chouki still there.