Day after shooting, Jama Masjid area bustles amid police presence (Lead)September 20th, 2010 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS
By Suhas Munshi
New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Shops opened at their usual time, tourists came and rickshawpullers eagerly awaited customers. The area around the 17th century Jama Masjid Monday had few telltale signs of the attack by two gunmen just a day earlier, but for the swarming number of men in khaki.
Many foreigners could be seen in the area even though Sunday’s firing incident had left two Taiwanese nationals and prompted travel advisories by countries like Australia and Britain. While some headed for the historic red sandstone mosque, others visited the majestic Red Fort nearby.
“Yes, there were some concerns but the mood at our camp is upbeat. There is no scare… neither are we planning to cut short our vacation here in India,” British tourist Steve Coll told IANS as he came out of Jama Masjid.
Rickshawpullers said much the same thing.
“We’re not afraid. The event occurred, and we’re over it. But we wish that the criminals are arrested soon, or we’ll be affected adversely if tourists get scared,” Monu, a rickshaw puller, told IANS.
It was one of them, a rickshawpuller, Salim, who had emerged as an unlikely hero in Sunday’s incident when he gave chase and threw a brick at the attackers.
Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at a bus from which a group of tourists was alighting near the Jama Masjid Sunday morning. The attack, just after 11 a.m., took place near Gate No.3 of the mammoth mosque - a few days ahead of the Commonwealth Games from Oct 3-14.
A policeman, who arrived at the site at 7.30 a.am., was alert but said things were peaceful and people were calm. “People aren’t panicky or in a state of shock. There is not much to worry about but we’re watchful nevertheless,” he said.
“We are watching out for any new faces and for suspicious elements,” he said.
Eyewitnesses in fact have told police that the two assailants had surveyed the area at least four times. Police are now on the lookout and are trying to match faces with eyewitness accounts.
Ganga Singh, who works in ‘Delhi’s Ivory Palace’, a shop opposite Jama Masjid’s Gate No.3, seemed unfazed by the incident. He opened the shutters of the shop at around 9 a.m., like he does on a normal working day.
“What have we to fear? Police are carrying on their investigations…the results will come out and we’ll carry out our business as usual,” Singh said.
Sanjay Chauhan, who works in a garage a little away from Singh’s shop, told IANS that no one in the neighbourhood was scared and they would assist the police in every way possible.
“All shops will open in due time…nobody’s scared of those attackers. Work will go on as usual and we’ll assist the police to the best we can,” Chauhan said.
Mohammed Amin, another rickshaw puller, said: “It is important that those criminals are caught and their identity revealed. These terrorists want nothing but disturbance in the city. We all will help the police in any way we can.”
Visitors in tourist buses and hired taxis were seen near the mosque and many parents were also seen escorting their young ones inside the complex as usual.
Even as the Jama Masjid area was back to its bustling self, the condition of the two wounded Taiwanese tourists - Ko Chang and Ku Ze Wei - was also said to be improving at the LNJP hospital.
There is widespread speculation that Indian Mujahideen, a banned group, is behind the attack.
In other parts of the city, tourist hotspots like Connaught Place, Gole Market and areas around Commonwealth Games venues were heavily barricaded. Traffic restrictions were imposed at around 470 landmarks and prime locations, including Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple and major markets.
Several motorists said they could not park their vehicles because of the restrictions.
Police said pillion riders have been disallowed near these sites and motorists will have to park their vehicles at least 100 metres away from these places. CCTVs are also being installed at these locations, police said.
- Jama Masjid buzzes back to life day after shooting - Sep 20, 2010
- Two Taiwanese shot at Jama Masjid, man detained (Roundup) - Sep 19, 2010
- Jama Masjid attackers surveyed area; Taiwanese stable - Sep 20, 2010
- Two Taiwanese injured in Jama Masjid shooting, man detained (Fourth Lead) - Sep 19, 2010
- Jama Masjid shooting: Red alert in Delhi - Sep 19, 2010
- Jama Masjid shooting: Advani speaks to Chidambaram - Sep 19, 2010
- Firing at Jama Masjid, two Taiwanese injured (Third Lead) - Sep 19, 2010
- Jama Masjid's 'hero' rickshaw puller rewarded, again - Sep 22, 2010
- Hunt on for Jama Masjid attackers; injured Taiwanese better (Lead) - Sep 20, 2010
- Advani speaks to Chidambaram on Delhi shooting, Uttarakhand landslide (Lead) - Sep 19, 2010
- Firing at Jama Masjid injures two Taiwanese tourists (Second Lead) - Sep 19, 2010
- Taiwan's yellow alert for India unchanged after Jama Masjid shooting - Sep 20, 2010
- IM operative linked to Jama Masjid blast nabbed: Police - Feb 03, 2012
- Delhi on high alert ahead of I-Day - Aug 14, 2012
- Will Kolkata remain city of joy for its rickshaw pullers? - Jul 06, 2011
Tags: assailants, british tourist, bustles, commonwealth games, eyewitnesses, gunmen, jama masjid, least four times, munshi, new faces, police presence, rickshaw puller, salim, state of shock, steve coll, suhas, telltale signs, time tourists, travel advisories, unlikely hero