Right in the heart of Delhi, Laal Kuan area of Hauz Qazi has been simmering with communal tension. On 30th June 2019, a Muslim mob had desecrated a Durga temple and according to local Hindu residents, even urinated in the temple. After the desecration, several Hindu activists had pledged to ‘reclaim civilisation’. To that end, one activist, Aviral Sharma had taken to Twitter to announce that he will be conducting Hanuman Chalisa at the Durga temple which was vandalised on 30th June.
It was Not a mere attack on our temple, it was an attack on our Pride, our identity & our Civilization
Let’s not sit back and outrage from the comfort of our home, let’s step out & stand together for our Identity
We’ll be doing the evening Aarti & Akhand Hanuman Chalisa path! pic.twitter.com/7Asu3e0uh1
— Aviral sharma (@sharmaAvl) July 4, 2019
He had received several responses from people on Twitter saying that they will be joining him at Laal Kuan for the ritual.
However, though released now, Aviral was allegedly detained by the local police station where he was intimidated to withdraw the event and tweet that the event had been cancelled.
When OpIndia spoke to Aviral after he was released, he said that had started getting calls from various quarters including the DCP of Chawdi Bazaar inquiring where he lives and what he proposed to do in Laal Kuan. He also received a call from his local Police Station Gokulpuri saying that he had to visit the PS for a meeting.
Soon after the call, officers from the police station reached his residence and escorted him to the police station.
Aviral Sharma says that while he was in police detention, he was being pressurised to withdraw the invite for the event and give the police a statement in writing confirming that he would not be visiting Hauz Qazi for the planned event of conducting Hanuman Chalisa at the desecrated Durga Temple in the area. Aviral says that despite the pressure, he refused to do so and was intimidated thereafter with threats of cases being filed against him.
When he still refused to cancel the event, the police told him that they would be getting a medical test conducted, confirms Aviral. However, on route the medical test, he was unceremoniously released and dropped at his residence.
When news of Aviral’s detention surfaced, OpIndia tried to contact the SHO of Gokulpuri. the SHO flat-out refused that he even knew of any Aviral Sharma. He said that the incident is not in his knowledge that as per him, no person has been detained in connection with this proposed puja to be conducted at Hauz Qazi.
After Aviral Sharma’s release, OpIndia tried to get in touch with the SHO yet again, however, the attempt was unsuccessful.