Communal disharmony slowly fading away
Taking lessons from previous mistakes which caused communal clashes in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri area in 2014, local residents, who constituted the ‘Aman Committee’ (Peace Committee), have been averting several such situations with the help of the Delhi Police. The committee has 300 volunteers who work as the eyes and ears of the police and keep a tight vigil over the area.
Last year around Diwali, a minor brawl broke out which later escalated into communal violence when members of two religious groups pelted stones at each other. What followed was three days of gory violence in which many people from both the communities lost their lives and many shops were gutted in fire.
Although a year later the situation seems to have toned down with people trying to move on with their lives, the scars etched on their minds and fear lurking in their hearts has not left the residents of Trilokpuri completely.
This, however, has not hampered the mood of the people from celebrating the festival with full fervour.
Riyazzuddin Saifi, member of the Aman Committee said: “After the violence which erupted in Block 20 of Trilokpuri last year, volunteers of the committee along with other NGOs, spread the word of communal harmony and peace through regular meetings in the area with the help of religious heads. The police too came forward by deploying more police personnel to keep constant vigil in the area.”
“Recent cases of clashes such as the ones during the Bihar elections were quelled by the volunteers along with the police where the miscreants were provided counselling sessions,” he added. According to Saifi, the worse affected areas were Blocks 15, 20, 24, 26, 27, 35 and 36.
Earlier in October 31, 1984, violence had erupted in the resettlement colony where hundreds of Sikhs were killed after the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
“This year, people from both the religious communities came together to celebrate Valmiki Jayanti and Muharram,” said Reshma Saifi, another member of the Aman Committee.