Four people died, including a head constable, in the February 24 riots in northeast Delhi. At least 50 others, including several paramilitary and Delhi Police personnel, are injured. Through the day, rioters torched houses, shops, vehicles and a petrol pump, besides hurling stones.
But the national capital has a history of violence. While it has witnessed sporadic communal clashes over the years, the last full-fledged violence was seven years back in 2014, The Times of India reported.
The violence in 2014 started as argument due to loudspeakers during a Mata ki Chowki event (dedicated to Goddess Durga) organised near a mosque in Trilokpuri area on Diwali night. The arguments turned into a scuffle, which escalated to stone-pelting.
Although there were no casualties in the Trilokpuri riots, over three dozen people were injured in the clashes and subsequent police action, the paper said.
After the Trilokpuri riots, the Delhi Police formed Aman committees comprised of elderly members and religious preachers across communities to work as police's troubleshooters and help defuse tensions after the violence is contained by the police, it added.
There have however been other incidents as well. In 2016, two communities clashed after a minor from the Valmiki community was molested by a man from another religion. In 2018, members of two communities clashed in north-west Delhi’s Sangam Park area, which led to stone-pelting in which six people were injured.
And in 2019, when a temple in central Delhi was vandalised, cops managed to control the situation before it spun out of control, a cop told TOI.
In the 2016 and 2019 incidents, elderly members of both communities reportedly played an important role in restoring peace, the paper said.