New Delhi, July 10— In a memorable development, which deserves accolades from all, Muslim residents in the Walled City area of the National Capital on Tuesday (July 9) distributed food among participants of a Hindu religious procession and helped the members of the majority community to install new idols at the century-old temple which was vandalized during a communal clash earlier this month.
Besides, members of the local Peace Committee, that included both Hindus and Muslims, were standing on the roadside to shower rose petals on the devotees of the procession called ‘Shobha Yatra’. The Delhi Police had made heavy security arrangement in view of the yatra taken out by Vishwa Hindu Parishad or VHP, an outfit of the large Sangh Parivar that also includes India’s current ruling party BJP.
Local Muslims were also seen helping the local Hindus in purifying the temple and installing new idols in it.
In the first week of this month, a minor altercation between two individuals over parking lot had led to communal clashes in the area during which stones were thrown on the temple and some idols were vandalized. The situation had become very tense but thanks to the timely action of the local police and wisdom of the local Peace Committee, it was controlled.
Following the clashes, shops remained closed for two-three days with the lanes and bylanes wearing almost a deserted look while armed police personnel and paramilitary forces doing intensive patrolling of the area to restore confidence in the people and peace in the area.
On July 2, in their laudable bid to restore peace in the Hauz Qazi area where the clashes took place, senior members of both the Hindu and Muslim communities met and decided to put an end to the tension.
Jamshed Siddiqui, who was heading the Muslim community, reportedly said: “We have spoken to each other on the issue and decided that the Aman Committee would bear the expenses to renovate the vandalised temple.”
“We want peace in the area as it was earlier. We condemn the incident and the culprits, who have vandalised the temple, must be punished,” he was quoted by the IANS news agency as saying.
Bittoo, from the Durga Mandir Street, said: “People from both the communities are living here happily since decades. The market will open from Wednesday and the locals would bring back peace in the area with mutual cooperation.”
Several leaders from both sides including the two Shahi Imams of Jama Masjid and Fatehpuri Masjid respectively had given a call for peace in the area. Fatehpuri Masjid’s Imam Mufti Mukarram Ahmed had demanded probe into vandalism at the temple but also asked Muslims of the area to come out and get the religious place repaired in order to establish peace.