How India's Religious Violence Razed Homes And Dreams


India's Supreme Court has put on hold a demolition drive in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, days after a religious procession sparked communal violence in the area.

The top court said it would take a "serious view" of demolitions continuing on Wednesday despite its orders to pause them.

The demolition drive stopped only after several top lawyers and activists gathered at the spot with orders in their hand.

Responding to calls by ruling BJP leaders running the NDMC (North Delhi Municipal Corporation), civic authorities began carrying out what they called an "anti-encroachment drive" in the area on Wednesday.

Hundreds of armed policemen in riot gear provided a security cordon as seven excavator trucks made their way into the narrow lanes of the neighbourhood. The relatively poor neighbourhood has a large Bengali-speaking Muslim population and is also surrounded by Bengali Hindu homes and small temples.

Around nine people - including seven police personnel - were injured in the violence, which broke out on Saturday. Eyewitnesses say tensions flared after hundreds of people - including many members of right-wing Hindu organisations - marched to celebrate the birth anniversary of Hindu god Hanuman. Videos show participants dancing and chanting religious slogans, with many holding swords and tridents.

- bbc.com


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