With the communal violence in Trilokpuri, East Delhi, escalating on Saturday, leaders of the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the local BJP of sustaining the riot in an attempt to polarise votes in the Trilokpuri Assembly segment.
The Trilokpuri Assembly segment — a resettlement colony — was a Congress bastion until 2008. In the 2008 Assembly election, the BJP won the seat by a narrow margin. In 2013, AAP leader Raju won the Assembly elections, capitalising heavily on the Dalit votes.
Apart from the Dalits who comprise 80 per cent of the population, the Muslims make up 15 per cent and the Jatav and Bhairo communities draw up the remaining five per cent.
On Saturday, the AAP and the Congress closed ranks to accuse the BJP, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal of inciting violence in the area. AAP MLA Raju said, “Every time the violence subsides, BJP workers round up locals with exaggerated tales. People in this area voted for the AAP in the Assembly polls last December. The BJP is attempting to consolidate the Dalit vote here the way it did in UP.”
Congress leader Harnam Singh, who contested elections in 2013, alleged that the violence was instigated by a BJP leader. “He came to Trilokpuri around 2 pm and members of Hindu groups began chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’. This made things worse. Two hours after he came, the violence began again,” he said.
East Delhi MP Maheish Girii — Trilokpuri falls in his constituency — said, “It was Diwali and I called up the SHO asking him to bring the situation under control. However, it worsened when Muslim youth threw something into the area, again triggering stone-pelting.”
Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit said the area never had any communal violence during her term. “There were only two places that saw any violence that could be classified as communal since our government came to power — Batla House and Jor Bagh Karbala. In such situations, it’s essential for the government and police to take prompt action against instigators.”