New Delhi: Police probe into communal clashes in Trilokpuri area of East Delhi has pointed to the role of outsiders.
Police officials said that they have arrested 44 persons so far and many of them are from outside Trilokpuri. A senior official said that they were still in the process of identifying and getting details about the persons arrested.
"Of those identified, six persons belong to Delhi 6 (an area that includes Chandani Chowk)," the officer, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.
Over a dozen incidents of stone pelting had taken place place since the rioting first started Oct 23 night. Over 60 persons, including policemen, have been injured and a dozen vehicles damaged in the violence.
Those arrested are from both Hindu and Muslim communities.
But the police are still looking for "five goons" who are the "key accused" in igniting the communal violence during Thursday night's Diwali celebrations.
Police officers said that the five had consumed alcohol near a 'Mata ki Chowki' temporarily set up in Block 20 of Trilokpuri Thursday night, and were also eating non-vegetarian food. They said that some devotees tried to stop the "goons" from doing so but they threw meat near the place where people had assembled for prayers, triggering a clash.
Officials said apart from the five key accused, there are others on the run.
"It is possible that people from Ghaziabad and Noida also joined the mob during the clashes," the officer added.
Residents said the incident could have been prevented from taking a turn for the worse.
"It started with a fight in Block 20. Why were we attacked," asked Nikhat Parveen, 35, who lives in Block 27 located in the middle of Trilokpuri.
Police offices said that Trilokpuri has an estimated population of 200,000 and a sizeable number of its residents are daily-wagers, small vendors and rickshaw pullers. About eight percent of the population is estimated to be Muslim.
Mohammad Siddiqui, a resident of Block 20 and who witnessed the initial clashes told
IANS: "On Diwali we heard about some clashes in Block 20. But next day, people on motorycles raising slogans started taking rounds in the area."
He said the police were called but they could not prevent mobs from assembling.
"A meeting was held at Block 21 and thousands of people in trucks started reaching the area. They were all carrying stones and sticks," said Siddiqui, who is a businessman.
Rajesh Kumar, who is a resident of Block 25, said that the situation would not have worsened to this extent without involvement of outside elements.
"If police was swift in handling the initial source of tension, the situation would not have come to such a pass," Rajesh Kumar said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Mahesh Giri said there was no political conspiracy behind the incident. "There was no political conspiracy. Though goons come from outside but they were not motivated by any political party," Giri maintained.