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News18 » India
3-min read

How Gurudwara Mohalla, the 'Border' Between Hindu Maujpur & Muslim Jaffrabad, Said No to Hate & Riots

Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs have been co-existing peacefully in Gurudwara Mohalla, the ‘border’ between Hindu Maujpur and Muslim Jaffrabad, for decades. And the close-knit community is leaving no stone unturned to keep it that way.

Suhas Munshi, Shivansh Sharma

Updated:February 26, 2020, 1:34 PM IST
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How Gurudwara Mohalla, the 'Border' Between Hindu Maujpur & Muslim Jaffrabad, Said No to Hate & Riots
Repair work in progress at the main gate of the Gurudwara Colony. (Shivansh Sharma/News18.com)

New Delhi: “We are living on the border. To your left is Hindu-dominated Maujpur. On your right is Muslim-dominated Jaffrabad. Since we are at the ‘border’, we have to be extra cautious for our safety. You understand?” said 48-year-old Dharmendra, a resident of the Gurudwara Mohalla.

Dharmendra was supervising repair work of his colony's main gates, so that he and his fellow residents could depend on them to withstand the fury of a mob should it choose to descend on their colony.

Gurudwara Mohalla is a housing colony where Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs have been co-existing peacefully for as far back in time as anyone can remember. And that is how they would like things to be; which is why anxiety for each other’s safety was palpable on their faces.

“If we feel the urgency to go out of the colony, the Hindus can go out from Maujpur side and Muslims can go out from the Jaffrabad side. We will manage like that until this violence ends. For now, we are trying to stay at home. Only in case of urgency will we move out of our houses,” said Dhamendra.

On Monday, protesters from the Jaffrabad side tried to move towards Maujpur, but the police took charge and dispersed them. Some of the protesters forcefully entered the Gurudwara Mohalla and damaged CCTV cameras. Later, police fired two tear-gas shells in the colony to disperse protesters from the area. One of the tear gas shells landed in a house. Apart from that, no untoward incident has been reported from the colony.

“We don’t want what happened on Monday to happen to us again. The protesters from the Jaffrabad side barged into the colony and damaged all the CCTV cameras in the locality,” Deepak, another resident of the Gurudwara Mohalla, said.

Vikas Rajput, a 28-year-old resident of the colony said, “Gates of the colony are being repaired to stop the rioters from entering. We won’t allow any other person or protesters to enter our colony. I won’t differentiate among the residents on the basis of religion. We are like a family and will remain so.”

There are no local people involved in these riots, all of them are from outside, Vikas, who has applied for indefinite leave to be with his family, added. “We have never noticed such kind of clash ever.”

Ayush Rajput, 22, agreed. “People from different communities live here in peace and harmony. I have been living here since birth, but have never seen anybody fighting with someone else on the basis of their religion. We are protecting ourselves from the rioters who are trying to disturb the atmosphere of the area,” he said.

Residents have been confined to their homes and shops have been shut in the area. “I don’t support this kind of protest which is affecting people and their livelihoods. For the last three days, people have not opened their shops and we are not able to move out of our houses,” Abishek Gupta, another resident, said.

Abrar Ahmad, 55, too, suspected the involvement of ‘outsiders’. “My family and I have been living here for many decades. All residents are like brothers and sisters to me. The livelihood of all families here has been affected because of this violence. We are suffering, but what can we do?” Ahmad said. “There must be outsiders who are involved in the riots,” he added.

Recalling the Monday incident, 22-year-old Mohammed Asif said, “We tried to stop the rioters when they were entering the colony. We even tied the colony gates with bamboos so the rioters don’t enter the colony. We didn’t sleep the whole night.”

“In Shaheen Bagh, the protest was already happening. There was no need to protest in this area. If somebody wants to protest, they should stage sit-ins instead of affecting the lives of other people,” 45-year-old Shamshad said.

“We are not moving out of our houses. We have stored supplies for around a month,” he added.

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