Days after a communal clash in Delhi Hauz Qazi area, the statues at the temple which was vandalized were reinstalled today. On July 1, a minor scuffle between two individuals over parking took a communal turn; 17 people were arrested in the case.
As part of the reinstallation process, a procession was carried out in the area, followed by several rituals at the temple. The procession had several chariots carrying statues of various Gods and were escorted by bands playing music. Some chariots also had artists dressed up as Lord Shiva.
Muslim musicians playing shehnai with Hindu musicians playing the dhol on their side also sent out a message of unity at the event. Right wing groups such as Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu also participated in the procession with saffron flags.
The procession was organised by the peace committee of the area which comprises of both Hindus and Muslims.
But all was done under heavy security deployment of the Delhi Police and the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF. Nearly two kilometres area around the temple was cordoned off and no vehicles were allowed. The area was kept open only for pedestrians.
Tarachand Saxena, a member of the Peace Committee, said, "The bhandaara (food arrangements) as well the procession was carried out with support of people who live in the area. We all stay together. We celebrate Holi, Diwali, Bakr-Id together. What was done was the act of a few miscreants and police is arresting them."
Muslims in the area offered support by serving food to participants. One such resident, Mohammad Khalid, said, "There is a lot of peace here. We all live with brotherhood irrespective of whether it is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian. There is an old Hindu tradition - 'Ganga Yamuna tehzeeb' (etiquette) and we follow them. We supported them in the procession also and are now serving food to them."
Hindu residents also expressed their happiness about the developments. Giriraj Prasad Sharma, a resident said, "It was done in a very good and peaceful manner. Muslims and Hindus both got together and offered their full support. The procession and the statue reinstallation both were carried out well."
The procession was largely peaceful except for an inciteful speech made right next to the temple by Surendra Kumar Jain, Joint General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. NDTV contacted senior Delhi police officials for a response but they remained unavailable for comment.