Press Trust of india

Subdued Holi in riots-hit northeast Delhi

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New Delhi, Mar 10 :  It was a subdued Holi in the riots-hit northeast Delhi as relatively less number of people hit the streets to celebrate the festival of colours with the police maintaining a tight vigil.

Some residents visited relatives and exchanged greetings and sweets, while a few others celebrated the festival in their respective localities.

Ankit Tyagi (27), a resident of the riots-hit Shiv Vihar, said,”Last night we celebrated ‘Holika Dahan’. In the morning, we celebrated Holi with colours. People here are again trying to normalise their life after the riots. The situation in the area is normal after the deployment of the force.”

People in the area came out in less numbers to celebrate the festival.

“This time, Holi seems relatively bleak due to tension following the recent riots. But, overall, people are celebrating the festival of colours here peacefully and trying to forget the past events,” said Mohd Shoaib, a resident of Seelampur.

Sohan Pal (63), a pan shop owner, said this year there was less people on the roads on the occasion of Holi.

“Police personnel have been present here since the violence. This year’s Holy saw a low turnout as less number of people are coming out of their houses. People are taking time to get their lives back on track. Shops are now opening in the area normally. The scar of the violence is still in the minds of the locals,” Pal said.

Residents of Chand Bagh and Khajuri Khas were seen distributing tea and snacks among the security personnel deployed in the areas.

Vivek Sharma (39), a resident of Khajuri Khas, said, “Those who did the violence had done there part and left the place the same day. Local residents are suffering and the situation in the area is normal as of now. Shops are opening normally in the area.”

People were going to their relatives’ places to great them on the occasion of Holy.

Shahid Changezi, a resident of Seelampur, said that they celebrated the festival with their Hindu friends.

“We went to Brahmpuri this morning to meet and wish our Hindu friends. We exchanged sweets and celebrated Holi…After the riots, the situation was very tense, but no untoward incident has happened on Holi,” Changezi, a member of a peace committee, said.

The communal violence in northeast Delhi last month claimed 53 lives and left over 200 people injured.

Several areas in the northeast Delhi, including Chand Bagh, Bhajanpura, Gokulpuri, Maujpur, Kardampuri and Jaffrabad, were the worst affected by to the violence, triggered by clashes between those protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act and those supporting it.

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