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Now in the eye of a storm, Jahangirpuri a mini-India that’s been around since 1970

New Delhi, April 24, 2022- At Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, which is in the eye of the storm since April 16, the members of the Hindu and Muslim communities are scheduled to take out ‘Tiranga Yatra’ here on Sunday evening to defuse the tension and promote brotherhood.

Around five lakh people reside in the 1.5 km area of Jahangirpuri. People from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat and others live here. Earlier, the area had shanties but later on small houses were built.

To make ends meet, lakhs of people residing in the small houses pull rickshaws, pick garbage, work in factories, do bangles business, sell fish and vegetables, etc.

Jahangirpuri’s Aman (Peace) committee member Jahid, who is associated with the BJP, said: “In 1970, people from the above-mentioned states came here and worked in mandis and later settled here. People from Bihar used to sell bangles, many people from West Bengal were rag-pickers but now most of the families have started their own business.”

“Jahangirpuri is divided into three Assembly constituencies — Adarsh Nagar, Badli and Burari. Three MPs and six Councillors are providing basic facilities in the area.”

Jahid said that in 1978 many flood-hit people sold their houses in Jahangirpuri for a paltry sum of Rs 200. It was only after Indira Gandhi visited the area that colonies were built.

The foundation for the construction of Jama Masjid, in front of which violence erupted last week, was laid in 1978, and it got completed in three years. Work for the Kali temple, adjacent to this mosque started in 1984.

People living in the area say that Muslims, who came from Bengal at that time, made the temple. This sort of violence was never witnessed in the area until Hanuman Jayanti, this year.

In the E block of the area, temple, mosque and gurudwara are built at a short distance from each other and people are here residing with love promoting brotherhood.

In the area, official papers say that the houses are built in 22 yards.

Historian Vivek Shukla told IANS, “When emergency was imposed in 1975, four colonies were built in Delhi for slum dwellers. The four colonies are Jahangirpuri, Mangolpuri, Khichdipur and Turkman gate.

“In Jahangirpuri, Mangolpuri and Khichdipur, slum dwellers of New Delhi and South Extension were settled. At that time Valmikis and washermen were in good numbers. There were many Muslims in Turkman Gate who went to Ranjeet Nagar and in 1976, Jahangirpuri started settling.

Meanwhile, the BJP has been accusing the Delhi government of facilitating Rohingyas and Bangladeshi Muslims in the national capital.

Experts who know about this area said, “There are many people from West Bengal living here, that’s why their language sounds similar to that of Bangladeshis. It’s not like Bangladeshi or Rohingyas are living here. In Delhi, people of various countries reside.”

According to sources, very few Bangladeshis reside here, but they have Aadhaar cards, PAN cards and other documents.

Last week, on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, a procession was attacked by stone pelters and soon it triggered major violence. Police are investigating and many people have been arrested in this connection.  (Agency)

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