Crowds gather again near demolished mosque in Delhi (Second Lead)

January 13th, 2011 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) After a few hours of normalcy Thursday, a crowd of over 200 men and women gathered at the site of a mosque in south Delhi that was demolished as an ‘illegal structure’ a day earlier. The protestors were prevented from offering prayers at the site, following which they turned violent and torched a bus.According to the police, no one was injured in the incident that took place just 100 metres from the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station in the evening.

The protestors torched a Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus, and were targetting another before being stopped by some elders.

They pelted stones and shouted slogans against the authorities. The mob also blocked roads, causing major traffic jams.

“The traffic has been diverted from Nila Gumbad and Ashram Chowk due to the protest in the afternoon. The road was open earlier in the day,” a police officer added.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Delhi Police personnel had been stationed at Jangpura, as the area had seen protests and stone pelting Wednesday following the demolition by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

On Thursday, the angry crowd continued to demand rebuilding of the mosque and the security forces, sensing a volatile situation, blocked the road between Jangpura and Ashram as a preventive measure.

DDA demolished the mosque, which had been illegally built on government land. More than 1,000 protesters had gathered outside the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station in Jangpura area Wednesday and blocked roads, demanding reconstruction of the structure.

The violent protests prompted police to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Most of the shops in the area were closed Thursday and traffic was hit in south Delhi, leading to diversions in other areas.

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