Over 30 Hindu volunteers are ready to set an example of communal amity in riot-hit Delhi’s Trilokpuri by leading Muharram processions on Tuesday, while Delhi Police have deputed extra force to avoid any fresh violence.
The Hindu volunteers will be divided among the five Muharram processions that will set out from different blocks of the east Delhi locality where a communal violence over Diwali celebrations Oct 23 left 60 people, including policemen, injured.
Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Beniwal told IANS: “Five Muharram processions may possibly set out from Block 27 and 37 of Trilokpuri around 2 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday). All the processions will be led by the Hindu volunteers. The Hindu volunteers are also ready to manage ‘Chhabi’, a water stall.”
He said: “The number of people participating in the processions is not clear. They may be between 400 and 1,000.”
Muslims observe Muharram to mourn the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad in the battle of Karbala.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Pushpendra Kumar told IANS: “The Muharram procession will terminate at the symbolic Karbala in Trilokpuri’s Kotla.”
Delhi Police have made preparations to ensure a peaceful Muharram.
Kumar said: “The possibility of any fresh clash is minimal as both the communities are ready to maintain harmony. They have also assured the authorities to keep a tab on any suspicious activity and immediately inform police. However, six additional companies of police, RAF and CRPF have been posted in Trilokpuri for precautionary measures.”
He said: “We have got a list of Hindu volunteers who will ensure that the processions are held peacefully.”
The measures include restriction on carrying sharp-edged articles like blades, chains and whips, which are traditionally used by the devouts to inflict physical pain on themselves as part of mourning.
A police officer said: “The participants have agreed not to injure themselves during the procession.”
Around 200 additional policemen will be deployed during the one-km Muharram route, with each procession being escorted by police teams.
“This time we have altered the route to reduce the distance,” the officer added.
Delhi Police imposed orders under section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting any gathering or movement of a group of people, two days after the clashes. The prohibitory orders are being relaxed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the past five days.
So far, 68 people have been arrested in connection with the clashes.
Over 1,000 policemen, including Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, have been deployed in the area since Oct 26.
Security personnel also restricted movement of people and vehicles in the area after the clashes.