As buses and cars were set ablaze in and around New Friends Colony, a political war broke out between the BJP and AAP, with each accusing the other of perpetrating violence.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta alleged that the violence was sparked under the leadership of AAP Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, a claim the latter denied.
Khan and his supporters had organised a protest Sunday, blocking the road between Kalindi Kunj and Sarita Vihar. Reacting to the allegations, Khan said: “It is being said that buses in New Friends Colony were set on fire under my leadership. I was part of a protest at Shaheen Bagh, near Sarita Vihar. There are no reports of violence from the area where I was present.”
In a video streamed live on his Facebook page, Khan can be heard addressing people: “Don’t believe in rumours. It could be to remove you from here or to instigate violence. If there’s violence, think who will benefit. BJP wants violence with a Bill like this.”
As reports of arson, stone pelting and violence started pouring in, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “No one should indulge in violence. Any kind of violence is unacceptable. Protests should remain peaceful.”
Meanwhile, his deputy Manish Sisodia said all schools in South East Delhi will remain shut Monday. This includes private and government schools in Jamia Nagar, Okhla, New Friends Colony and Madanpur Khadar.
Through the day, both parties kept up attacks on each other. “AAP MLA is provoking people on direction from Arvind Kejriwal. Indian Muslims are with India and will not be misled by you (Kejriwal). Stop instigating people. The people of Delhi will teach AAP traitors a lesson,” Tiwari tweeted.
Commenting on a purported video taken during the protest, Sisodia said: “BJP is making people set fire to property because they are scared of losing elections… In this video, you can see that they are setting fire under the protection of police.”
Delhi Police Additional PRO Anil Mittal denied the allegations and said “personnel were dousing flames and putting water on the bus”.