Tension prevailed on Monday in Old Delhi's Chawri Bazaar after a fight over parking a scooter took a communal turn and a temple was vandalised in the locality, the police said on Monday. Security has been tightened at Lal Kuan to prevent any flare-up, they said.
The trouble began on Sunday night when Aas Mohammad, 20, was parking his scooter outside a building. Sanjeev Gupta, a resident of the building, who runs an eatery, objected to it, witnesses said.
Gupta's wife Babita said when her husband objected to parking the vehicle near the stall, Mohammad left, but returned with more men who were "probably drunk" and thrashed him. Saqib, a 27-year-old software engineer who lives in the area, narrated a different version. "When Mohammad was beaten up, he and his other family members went to police station and filed a case," he said.
A video shared on social media purportedly shows a man allegedly being thrashed by some people. Senior police officers said three separate cases have been filed.
One case is based on the statement of the man who tried to park his scooter, the other is of the man who objected to him and the third case is against unknown people for rioting and damaging public property, the police said.
When Mohammad parked his scooter, Gupta asked him to move the vehicle somewhere else or he would set it on fire. "Then a fight broke out between them. Some people pulled Mohammad inside the building and thrashed him," said Aqib Hassan, 25, who lives in the area.
The residents in the meantime called the police. Both Mohammad and Gupta were taken to the police station. "When Mohammad and Gupta were at the police station, some unknown people gathered outside the temple and vandalised it. This led to tension in the area," said Saqib.
Anil Kumar Pandey, the temple priest, said, "A mob came to the temple last night (Sunday) at around 12 am. They vandalised the temple and left the place".
On Monday, the two sides also raised slogans that added to the tension.
Senior police officers and paramilitary personnel have been deployed at Chawri Bazaar.
"After some altercation & scuffle over a parking issue in Hauz Qazi, tension arose b/w two groups of people from different communities. We have taken legal action & all efforts are being made to pacify feelings & bring about amity. People are requested to help in restoring normalcy (sic)," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa tweeted.