By Anshuman Singh
A scuffle during a cricket match on Thursday night at Trilokpuri’s block 20 escalated into stone pelting and communal tension in the area, which had seen trouble in February as well.
Trouble started when 18-year-old vegetable vendor Shoaib was allegedly beaten up by “boys from another community,” around 9.30 pm, his family claimed. Shoaib’s sister Sadiqa said, “We heard a noise in the lane near our house. When I called our elder brother about it, he told me Shoaib has been beaten up by some boys who live nearby.”
Police have arrested 10 men, including Shoaib, and deployed around 50 officers in the area as a precautionary measure.
DCP (east) Pankaj Kumar Singh said, “We arrested Shoaib, Noor Mohammad, Rashid, Rahul, Ankit, Lalit, Saqib and three more men. They have been booked under IPC sections 147 and 148, which pertain to rioting; section 149, related to unlawful assembly; and sections 186, 332 and 352 for obstructing public servant in discharge of duty”.
Ved Prakash, a relative of one of the accused, Lalit (21), called police at 10.11 pm when he saw stones flying. He claimed Ankit and Lalit came indoors when the stone pelting began, and that they were innocent. “At 10.30 pm, police took them away,” he said.
Ankit’s mother Chameli (50) claimed, “He was playing cricket with Lalit… We don’t know how a fight erupted or who it involved.” But DCP Singh said, “Our investigation has revealed the role of each of these boys.” Shoaib sustained injuries on his head, back and shoulders, and was rushed to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital. His mother Farhad (45) alleged, “He was denied entry there and we took him to Mayur Vihar Phase I police station, where officers refused to register our complaint… they lathicharged us, even women were beaten up.”
DCP Singh denied the allegations: “No one was beaten up at the police station… some people protested outside and we told them to leave, that’s all.”
Recalling the incident, Rashid’s eight-month pregnant wife Rukhsar (22) claimed: “He was home. I was serving him dinner when police came and dragged him away… they also pushed me and I fell. He wasn’t even at the scene of the fight”.
(Singh is an intern with The Indian Express)