Security personnel keep vigil after clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, at Jahangirpuri in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: The Delhi Police has arrested 20 people over the violence during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in the city's Jahangirpuri area, including the "main conspirators" behind the clashes and another person who allegedly fired a bullet that hit a sub-inspector, officials said on Sunday.
Two juveniles have also been apprehended in connection with the incident, they said.
Police said they have also recovered a pistol from one of the accused-- Md Aslam (21), a resident of a slum cluster in Jahangirpuri''s CD Park, which he allegedly used during the commission of crime on Saturday evening.
They said there was stone-pelting and arson during the clashes between two communities that left eight police personnel and a local injured. Some vehicles were also torched.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) Usha Rangnani said an FIR was registered on Saturday under Indian Penal Code sections, including 307 (attempt to murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 147 (rioting), and provisions of the Arms Act.
"In total, 20 persons have been arrested and two juveniles have been apprehended.Three firearms and five swords have been seized from the possession of accused persons," she said.
The officials said the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch which with the help of the district police will carry out further investigation in the case.
"One of the accused persons, identified as Md. Aslam, fired a bullet that hit a sub-inspector of the Delhi Police. The pistol used by the accused during the commission of crime has been seized from his possession," Rangnani said.
Aslam has also been found to be involved in a case registered at the Jahangirpuri police station in 2020 under sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, she added.
She said that of the 20 arrested is also Ansar (35), a resident of Jahangirpuri, who is alleged to be among the "main conspirators" behind the violence.
The officer said he was also found to be previously involved in two cases of assault, and was also arrested repeatedly under preventive sections and booked five times under the Gambling Act and the Arms Act.
Ansar''s wife told reporters that her husband is innocent and was not part of any violence.
"My husband is innocent. He is not part of any violence. He had only gone there to intervene and stop the fight but the police picked him up and later arrested him," she alleged.
The 18 others who have been arrested have been identified as Zahid (20), Shahjad (33), Mukhtyaar Ali (28), Mohd. Ali (18), Amir (19), Aksar (26), Noor Alam (28), Zakir (22), Akram (22). Imtyaz (29), Mohd. Ali (27), Ahir (35), Sheikh Saurabh (42), Suraj (21), Neeraj (19), Suken (45), Suresh (43), Sujeet Sarkar (38), all residents of Jahangirpuri.
Earlier, Special Commissioner (Law and Order-Zone 1) Deependra Pathak said, "Fourteen persons have been arrested so far and investigation is on. Further process of identification is being done based on CCTV and other video footage."
"Right now the situation is totally under control. We have our additional force deployed. We have done peace committee meetings and are also in touch with the prominent residents of the areas. They gave assurances that they would maintain peace in their respective areas," he added.
Rangnani also said nine people, including eight police personnel and one civilian, were injured during the clashes, and are being treated at the Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital.
The sub-inspector who suffered the bullet injury is in a hospital and his condition is stated to be stable, the senior police officer said, adding further investigation is underway.
The Special Branch had alerted police deputy commissioners of districts to stay vigilant, and they were asked to make adequate arrangements during such processions.
As on Sunday morning, there was heavy police deployment in the Jahangirpuri area where the clashes took place. Flag marches were also being carried out along with foot and motorcycle patrolling. Drones were also used in the process to oversee the activities and ensure no untoward incidents takes place.
According to police, more than 50 personnel were deployed during the procession.
A team of Rapid Action Force has also been deployed to keep a tight vigil on the situation which is now under control, Rangnani said.
"Facial recognition software is being used to identify those involved in creating the ruckus. All mobile footage and CCTV cameras installed in and around the vicinity are being scanned to identify the culprits and trace them," said another police officer.
Officials said overall security arrangements have been stepped up in all the remaining 14 police districts of the national capital and technical surveillance mounted to ensure no untoward incident takes place.
This is the first communal flare-up in the national capital since the February 2020 riots in northeast Delhi which had left over 50 dead and scores injured. PTI