A former BJP MLA, Sunil Vaid, has been asked to clarify his role in connection with the riots which broke out in Trilokpuri, East Delhi, last week. Police sources said their investigations revealed that Vaid held a “closed door conference” with his supporters at his office on Friday morning, just before the violence escalated.
Vaid, who lost the last assembly elections from Trilokpuri, has been asked to clarify the purpose of that meeting. Police confirmed that he may be called for questioning later. At least 17 civilians and 40 police personnel were injured in the clashes between Hindus and Muslims, which broke out on Friday and carried on till Saturday afternoon.
Vaid’s alleged role emerged after locals told the police that hundreds of his supporters attended a meeting at his office in Block 21 — one of the riot-hit areas. According to sources, Vaid’s supporters later marched out of the block shouting slogans. A PCR van reportedly noticed the mob leaving his office just before the violence escalated.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Vaid denied that he had been questioned by the police. He claimed he had called the police to complain about their inaction in connection with the incident on Thursday evening, when five youths reportedly created trouble next to the Mata ki Chowki in Block 20.
“Around 200 people came to my office on Friday morning to discuss the police inaction… They wanted the miscreants to be punished.
I called up the area ACP and asked him to come and address their grievances. It is then that we all met the ACP. While we were addressing the crowd at my office, the ACP got a call about the Mata ki Chowki being attacked by a mob. After that, all of them went to the spot to check what had happened,” said Vaid. “I am not involved in the incident. I was not even present at the spot,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested 44 people — 32 Muslims and 12 Hindus — and registered three FIRs in connection with the riots so far. One FIR mentions that Blocks 21-27 were the areas hit by violence. Another 14 people — seven Hindus and seven Muslims — have been arrested for making bogus calls and trying to create a scare among residents.
Among the accused, one Mohammed Irfan is a history sheeter with cases registered against him in Mayur Vihar police station. Police said further investigations are on and more arrests are expected. The police have also obtained video footage of a man firing a gun during the violence. Police said they are trying to identify the man.